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ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis woman was scammed out of hundreds of dollars after prepaying for a puppy she found online.

In April of this year, she had put a $500 deposit on a Cavapoo puppy through Zelle, an online money transfer service. The seller had sent her photos of the puppy and then asked for the remaining balance via Zelle, according to a press release.

The transaction was flagged as fraudulent through the woman’s bank. She then asked for a refund from the seller and never received it. The puppy is still listed on the seller’s website.

When purchasing pets online, the Better Business Bureau offers these tips:

  • See the pet in person before paying.
  • Do a reverse image search of the photo.
  • Research the breed and compare prices.
  • Visit local animal shelters.

If you are a victim of a pet scam, report it to petscams.com, the Federal Trade Commission, the Better Business Bureau, and your credit card company.