By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Wright woman who thought she was buying a puppy from Colorado and having it delivered to her home ended up losing $800 in a scam.
Campbell County Sheriff Scott Matheny told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that the department received a call on Wednesday morning from a woman who reported that someone had stolen money from her through a puppy purchase scam.
The 37-year-old Wright resident told police that she found a woman who said she was in Colorado selling puppies on Facebook. Matheny said the scammer identified herself as Sheena Meyers, although he added that name is likely fictitious.
The victim agreed to pay $600 for the puppy, as well as an additional $100 to have the puppy delivered to her in Wright, since she was unable to travel to pick it up.
“They told the victim they would be using a company called United Pet Emirates to transport the dog to Gillette, and I guess the plan was to fly it up here from Colorado,” Matheny told Cowboy State Daily on Friday. “Then the victim got a call from someone representing United Pet Emirates, and said they would need an additional $100 for pet insurance, but if the flight was uneventful, she would get that money back.”
The victim agreed to pay the extra money, now having spent $800 on the puppy.
“Then, the victim gets a message saying they need another $500 to transport the dog in an airport-approved carrier,” Matheny said. “Now, she’s suspicious. She refused to pay.”
The victim was told the puppy would be held in quarantine until she paid the $500 for the “carrier.” She asked for her money back, but was refused.
The woman then called the Campbell County Sheriff’s office.
Matheny said police could not find any evidence of a company called United Pet Emirates, but did find a website warning people of similar puppy scams.
“With the popularity of buying things on Facebook, these types of scams are much more prevalent,” Matheny said. “If you’re buying something online like this, check a person’s seller’s rating and verify if they’re representing an actual company. Find out if there is a way to verify it is a real company.”
While scams have been frequent across the state in recent months, Matheny said the puppy scam was unique to the area and added he could not recall seeing similar cases in recent history.
Gillette Deputy Police Chief Brent Wasson told Cowboy State Daily on Friday that while his department had seen a similar puppy scam months ago, it was an isolated and unrelated, incident.