Scammers using coronavirus to prey on grandparents, prospective pet owners

Scammers use COVID-19 to prey on grandparents, pets
Scammers use COVID-19 to prey on grandparents, pets

DETROIT – Scammers prey on emotions in the time of coronavirus (COVID-19) -- targeting grandparents and pets.

The Better Business Bureau said it has received dozens of complaints from people in Metro Detroit.

Pet sales are booming with many people staying home to say safe and looking for companionship. It’s all over the internet. Some breeders are legitimate while others are trying to take advantage of people.

The way the scam works is the person purchases the animal and they receive an email saying there’s additional fees with the shipping of the animal. Now, because of coronavirus, the scammer says there’s more fees for extra precautions.

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In some cases people have been paying more than $1,000 on top of the initial cost of the dog.

The other big scam is when scammers target an elderly victim. They say that they have COVID-19 or that a grandchild or family member is in a hospital and the victim needs to wire money because treatments are expensive.

Watch the video for the full report.

About the Author:

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.