Cheryl Collins thought she was purchasing an English retriever puppy when she sent $400 to a seller on Facebook. But there was no puppy. Now she’s sharing her story to help others avoid the same scam. (Unsplash)

Saanich woman loses $400 to Facebook puppy scam

Woman sends deposits for non-existent English retriever puppy

A Saanich woman is out $400 and a tank of gas after driving three hours for a puppy that doesn’t exist.

Cheryl Collins had saved enough money to buy a dog, and when she saw a litter of English retriever puppies posted online, she reached out to the seller.

The puppies were listed at $600 each, and the seller wanted a $200 deposit.

“At first it seemed like it was legitimate because most breeders want a deposit,” she said. “But it seemed cheap as well so I was kind of surprised.”

READ ALSO: Victoria’s ‘Penny Girl’ Jeneece Edroff falls victim to puppy scam

Before going to get her dog, the seller asked for another $200 to switch the dog to her name. Collins drove three hours to the Black Creek address she was given, but was met with confusion from the residents there.

Collins was angry and upset.

“They got my money and I’m probably not going to get it back,” she said. She called her bank and the police, but still doesn’t know if she’ll be able to get her money back.

“I can’t get another [puppy] now,” she said. “I’m on [employment insurance] right now … I’m very trusting but not now.”

Collins shared her story to help others avoid getting into the same situation.

“Be more thorough, don’t give them money up front. I wouldn’t ever again,” she said. “Just beware. Don’t give out money until you at least meet the person.”

The Victoria Police Department says its important for people making online purchases of any kind to do their due diligence.

“If you don’t have knowledge from someone you trust, or you can’t personally verify that a seller is legitimate, it may be worth reconsidering making that purchase,” police said in a statement.

READ ALSO: Young B.C. family expected new puppy to arrive at airport, got scam instead



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