Yuma, Arizona - The Facebook “dog for sale” scam has been reported. This is where the scammer, usually from another state claims to be selling puppies on various Facebook groups using a fake account. The scammer will request payment in the form of money orders, money transfers through applications or prepaid gift cards. The scammer will proceed as if they will be shipping the puppy; collect contact information, and residential address information.

The scammer will then attempt to intimidate for additional money by sending graphic images of deceased bodies and google images of the person’s residence.

Here are some things to remember if you are looking for a new pet, or other items for sale online:

·         Payment options- When it comes to payment, “wire transfer”, “money order”, “Western Union”, “Prepaid Visa” and “Moneygram” are all absolute red flag words. When you send money through these forms of payment, it is essentially impossible to get your money back. That’s why these forms of wire transfers are a scammer’s method of choice.

·         Always verify the owner- Google the property online and see what comes up.  This is a good way to see if it’s listed through an agency or if it’s listed at all. 

·         Beware of contact through email or text only- The scammer will avoid meeting you in person or talking to you on the phone. 

·         Never give personal information upfront- The most typical scam is them asking you to provide personal information before the transaction is complete.

·         Lastly but very important, ask to see the item you wish to purchase in person before you do anything.  Make sure the property really is for sale.

The bottom line is do your homework.  Check and recheck if needed to protect yourself and your money.  If it doesn’t seem right and it doesn’t feel right then move on to another listing.