Metro Detroit woman scammed out of thousands of dollars when she tries to buy puppy online

BBB says scams on the rise

The rate of puppy scams are on the rise.
The rate of puppy scams are on the rise.

DETROIT – A Metro Detroit woman lost thousands of dollars in a scam when she tried to buy a puppy online.

Jodie Blankenship said her daughter wanted a Pomeranian. She checked local rescues, pet stores the Humane Society, but she couldn’t find one, so she looked online.

“We looked at the pictures,” she said.

Blankenship found a puppy in Oklahoma that cost $500 and advertised free shipping.

She used a banking app to wire the money to an email address she was given. She was also told she needed to pay money for insurance to fly the dog to Michigan, as well as vaccinations.

Blankenship sent an additional $940 for insurance. The person she was sending the money to claimed that amount would be refunded. She also sent $60 for vaccinations, $850 for a crate and $1,500 for a permit.

She was never given a contract -- it was all done over an email exchange.

Blankenship was told a day and time that the puppy would arrive at her home, but it never showed up.

The Better Business Bureau said online puppy sale scams are on the rise. Customers are advised to avoid buying animals online. Instead, make sure you see the animal in person, and look for red flags.

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.