York Regional Police are warning of an online puppy sale scam after officers say some residents lost thousands of dollars.
Police said they’ve received multiple reports from people across York Region who lost money after attempting to purchase puppies online.
In a news release Friday, officers said in the majority of incidents, victims came across websites advertising different breeds of puppies and believed they would be purchasing the dog from a breeder in the United States.
The scam proposed to ship the dog to the new owner under humane conditions once an initial payment amount was sent, but purchasers were later notified of additional costs, police said.
Officers said in some instances, the victims were told that the dog was shipped to the wrong location and was going to be abandoned unless they paid additional fees.
Police said the victims later discovered that the websites where they purchased the dogs had been removed, or had different information.
Police allege some of the sites included Fancypuppies.com, Alphapetmovers.com and Globalshippers.com.
Investigators said they believe there are more victims who haven’t come forward and are asking anyone with information to contact them at 1-866-876-5423 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.
Officers are reminding people to be vigilant and “trust your instincts” when making online purchases.