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Denver woman warns others after losing $1,000 in online puppy scam

DENVER — A Denver woman is warning others planning to buy a dog after losing $1,000 in a scam. Sara Morales said she found a 9-week-old puppy online. She ...
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DENVER -- A Denver woman is warning others planning to buy a dog after losing $1,000 in a scam.

Sara Morales said she found a 9-week-old puppy online. She purchased accessories for the pet and planned to name him "Nacho."

However, the dog did not exist.

“Yeah, I did get ‘catfished’ with a fur baby,” Morales said.

She was in search of a French bulldog and eventually found a breeder— or so she thought — with the e-mail address: puppiesforpet@gmail.com.

The seller offered to ship the puppy from Texas for a bargain.

“$1,000 is pretty cheap for a French bulldog,” Morales told KDVR.

She paid about half of the money up front through a banking app called Zelle, and the other half after receiving a fake e-mail confirmation with flight information from a company called Star Light Pet Delivery.

“[There was] no flight number, by the way. I didn’t learn that until later. But I was just too excited," Morales said.

She spent the entire day at the airport, but the puppy never arrived.

“All of a sudden, they wanted more money for a delivery service, which I had already been at the airport waiting for a dog, and they told me it wasn’t coming," Morales said.

Morales said shortly after that, she stopped getting responses from either e-mail account.

“It was too many people that I was talking to. I kind of figured from there it wasn’t real, and I lost a lot of money," Morales said.

We did a search on the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association’s website, which revealed puppiesforpet@gmail.com and Star Light Pet Delivery are both reported scams. It has a full list of scams on its website.

Morales admits she was too impulsive with the purchase.

“I needed something — a companion.  Something to love, something to love me back because I’m a mom of three kids who aren’t here anymore," she said.

Morales said she was more cautious during her previous dog purchase, but she was not going through a divorce and other personal challenges at the time.

She hopes other people will learn from her mistake because a little bit of research could save people a lot of money.

“It’s not bad to go to a breeder. But then again, I should have just taken a breath and done my research like I know I should have,” Morales said.