February 8, 2023

His name was Leo, and his future family was pretty excited. 

“We had a Shiba Inu back in 2019, and we kind of got over the fact that we had lost our puppy, so we were looking to get a new one,” said Georgetown resident Ricardo Gonzalez. 

Gonzalez said they did some shopping in person, but the prices were too high. 

“So I was looking online, and I found a place on Google that was pretty inexpensive price for a pup,” he said. “At first I was a little nervous, but because I saw it was a Google ad, I thought it was legitimate.”

Gonzalez pursued the ad and ended up speaking on the phone with a man named “Frank.” They started texting back and forth about Leo and discussing what payment method to use and how he would get to Texas. Gonzalez was given a Zelle account name and phone number to transfer money to.

Gonzalez said he was wary and even researched the address on the seller’s website, but it appeared to be legitimate.

“So I sent the $500,” said Gonzalez. “He said he’d be in touch within the next couple of days to set up the flight for the puppy because he was being shipped from Omaha to myself.”

Then there were some delays and some strange text conversations. Gonzalez did a little more research online. 

“I came across a website called puppyscam.com, and on that website it listed this website as a puppy scam,” said Gonzalez….

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