By Royce Jones

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning for consumers to be aware of online pet scams.

The BBB reports booming pet adoptions and sales of pet items during the pandemic. But the organization said when shoppers order those items online, some retailers are taking the money but not delivering.

In the case of Jason Mihalick from Cranberry, it’s been seven months and there’s still no sign of his online order.

“I thought it was going to be a nice purchase,” said the dog owner of three.

In December, Mihalick purchased a customized blanket from the website superpaws.com. The blanket was supposed to be a Christmas present for his mom, whose dog passed away.

He paid $75 and said he even received a confirmation email “that the order was being processed and they were going to supply me with shipping and tracking information once it was available.”

He said he tried tracking the order through the email address listed on the site’s contact page, but keeps getting excuses in return.

He even received an email from the retailer blaming the delay of his December purchase on what the sender called the “Corona epidemic.”

KDKA visited the website which is currently listed under a new name “superpetsofficial.com.”

There were limitless pet supplies, but limited contact info and zero reviews.

There’s no phone number listed on the website, but there is an Instagram username, @superpetsofficial.

KDKA could not find an account matching that username.

Caitlin Driscoll, Public Relations Director for BBB of Western Pa., said “pet related scams now comprise about 25 percent of all the online scams being reported to us through the BBB scam tracker.”

Turns out the website in question has received more than 3,000 inquiries and 100 complaints from consumers in 29 states.

“As a result of this activity, the Better Business Bureau did conduct an investigation,” said Driscoll.

It’s not just Super Paws. The BBB said other sites are targeting consumers and are even going as far as selling actual pets that never show up.

The BBB says online shoppers are much safer using credit cards as opposed to debit because credit purchases have stronger fraud protections through the credit card billing act.

Fore more online shopping tips, visit the BBB’s website.