Pet schemer targets Albuquerque residents

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE)- An Albuquerque woman says she was almost taken for hundreds of dollars while trying to find a puppy online. The seller was using an Albuquerque Facebook yard sale site to target victims.

Albuquerque mom Katy Meeks says she uses online yard sale sites a lot and before this, she didn’t have her guard up. She was looking for a puppy for her family, when she came across what seemed like the perfect Facebook post.

“I had seen an ad on the Albuquerque Yard Sale social media page about husky puppies for sale,” said Meeks.

Buy, sell and trade Facebook pages have been exploding in popularity recently. Meeks says because the users are assumed to be locals, it can feel safer than other online sites like Craigslist.

“I’ve never run into a problem on those types of pages that are local,” Meeks said.

That changed when she tried to find out more about the husky puppies. The advertiser told Meeks she was re-homing them for free and Meeks says the “breeder” asked all the right questions.

“She asked me a lot of questions like where am I located, do I have kids, other dogs, basic questions that any breeder would ask,” said Meeks.

But the woman said she had recently moved to Utah so the dog would have to be shipped for a hefty delivery fee, $420.

That set off a red flag for Meeks but she kept talking to the woman and it didn’t take long before that scheme started to unravel.

She told her the bulldog puppies were still available, instead of husky puppies. Meeks walked away before losing any money and posted a warning to Facebook. She’s worried others could easily fall prey.

“I was embarrassed that I fell for it that long,” Meeks said. “If someone else had posted later on, after it had almost happened to me, I would have felt extremely guilty for not posting a warning.”

Once Meeks put the warning up on the Facebook page another woman said she had problems with the seller too. But in that case she says the breeder tried to get her to wire money to Texas.

Meeks also reported the page to Facebook. She says the profile of the person she was communicating with was immediately deleted. The ad appeared to have been posted from outside the U.S.

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