Metro Detroit woman warns others after falling victim to elaborate pet purchasing scam

Scammer asked her to pay with gift cards

A Metro Detroit woman is bringing attention to pet purchasing scams after she was scammed out of her own money.
A Metro Detroit woman is bringing attention to pet purchasing scams after she was scammed out of her own money.

DETROIT – A Metro Detroit woman is bringing attention to pet purchasing scams after she was scammed out of her own money.

Her family hoped getting a dog would lift their spirits, but instead the situation left them devastated and out nearly $1,000.

READ: Scammers using coronavirus to prey on grandparents, prospective pet owners

When Cindy Riggen saw a boxer puppy online, she fell in love. She spotted the dog being offered by a breeder in North Carolina and arranged to buy the dog.

The seller wanted to be paid with gift cards. Riggen sent severa. Then she was told she needed to send more money to cover shipping and crating the dog.

The dog never arrived. The fraudulent business ceased contact and removed ads online. Riggen was left with nothing but heartache.

The Better Business Bureau has seen a huge spike in pet scams like that one. You should never buy a pet unless you’ve seen it in person. Do your research. Never pay anyone online with gift cards.

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


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.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.