The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office would like to inform the community of a scam that has increased in popularity recently. Over the course of 6 weeks, we have received 4 calls of citizens being scammed out of money after attempting to purchase an animal over the internet. Three of these scams have taken place in the last 2 weeks. The victims all claim they attempted to purchase a pet (2 dog incidents and 2 cat incidents) on various pet adoption websites across the country. The victims were contacted by the “seller” and told to pay various amounts of money to cover costs of the animal, vaccinations, and transportation of the animal to their home. In one case, the victim was told to pay an additional $320 so the animal could be tested for COVID-19. The victims were advised by the scammers to transfer the money from their bank account using a mobile app named Zelle. Once the transfer is complete, the scammer then discontinues contact with the victim, who is now out a substantial amount of money. One victim was advised by their bank that the money could not be reimbursed because Zelle money transfers are not able to be tracked.
The Mohave County Sherriff’s Office would like to remind everyone to protect your identity and your finances. Never give out your personal information over the phone, and never send money to unfamiliar sources. Money transferring apps should only be used with trusted sources. These apps may be convenient to use in these uncertain times, however you should research the app’s privacy and protection policies before entering any banking information. Please protect yourself from these types of scams and always be