Circulating scam targets dog lovers

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SAN ANTONIO (CBS) - It's a scam targeting dog lovers. Scammers posing as dog breeders selling pups on a fake website.

A San Antonio woman says that one website was so convincing, she's now out more than $1,300.

Esther Pipoly bought her first corgi, Walter, online. She communicated with the breeder daily and a few weeks later, she received a happy pup.

This time, she came across the website, based out of Atlanta.

Esther said it seemed extremely legitimate. She said the people were really friendly and asked a lot of questions.

She said she received an adoption agreement and was required to send $800 to pay for the dog. Then she was told she needed to pay nearly $600 more to help with his relocation. So she paid it. Then the company requested even more money for pet insurance. That's what tipped her off.

"I'm a licensed insurance agent, so I knew that when they were asking for pet life insurance, they didn't know what they were doing," said Pipoly.

Pipoly filed a police report and found out that she isn't the only victim of this elaborate scam.

The Better Business Bureau said that in a scheme just like Esther experienced, scammers will take advantage of the buyer's identity by asking for personal information like your birthday, address, and phone number.

The BBB said that on the day the animal is supposed to be shipped, the breeder will keep asking for more money. The puppy the customer receives may not be the puppy they agreed to purchase or, in Pipoly's case, they won't receive a puppy at all.

To prevent this from happening to you, the BBB recommends that you do your research, visit the breeder first, be aware of breeders who seem overly concerned with getting paid, don't pay via wire transfer, don't be fooled by a slick website, and consider adopting from a local animal shelter.

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