By Sheriff Scott Henriod, WPCSO

The phrase man’s best friend has always been linked to those furry loveable dogs we treat as part of our family. They protect us, work for us, provide companionship, and sometimes care for our physical and mental wellbeing.

Well if you’re looking for that new companion to be your best friend I would like to warn you about a new popular scam that is gaining popularity among the crooks and thieves. I’ll just call it the dog scam. It starts off with you scanning the internet for that special dog to purchase. You find some really cute photos of a puppy that melt your heart and you believe he or she is the dog for you. You contact the seller of the dog by email or text messaging and start talking about the price of the dog and when it can be delivered.

This is where the scam takes place. There really is no dog for sell and it’s all a ruse. You end up sending the seller a down payment or full payment for the dog, but you never receive it.

You try contacting the seller, but get no response. You have been scammed.

So how do you prevent this from happening?

There are a few precautions that you can take before committing to the purchase. Always check for references. Talk to individuals who have bought dogs from the person before. Not just one, but several. If they don’t have any discontinue the transaction. Don’t provide a deposit. Pay upon delivery or go and pick the dog up and pay when you get there. Don’t let your emotions of a brand new puppy take over your common sense. Do your research before you make that commitment.