The Whitehall Borough Police Department is warning residents of a recent scam that has left people looking to buy a puppy empty-handed.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

WHITEHALL (KDKA) — The Whitehall Borough Police Department is warning residents of a recent online pet scam.

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Police said that scammers told people online to send a gift card to receive a puppy and then instructed them to go to an address to receive the puppy. Whitehall Police said that the addresses were not associated with the advertisement or had any puppies for sale, so a few local residents were confused to find some families at the doors, expecting to receive a puppy.

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Whitehall Borough Police advise always seeing the seller in person before sending a payment for a pet.

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They also recommend people looking to buy a pet to be cautious about extra fees, to stop association with the seller if there are requests for payments via wire transfers, gift cards or the seller offers to mail you a check, to look up photos of the breed you want to see if the seller is using a random photo from the Internet, and to check with local shelters or the Better Business Bureau if you are interested in adopting a pet.