Martinez Man Scammed in Online Puppy Purchase

A Martinez man lost over $1,000 while trying to purchase a chihuahua puppy over the Internet.

According to the sheriff’s office, the 50-year-old victim said he went online to purchase a chihuahua puppy on Sept. 10. He was contacted by email and telephone about his interest in purchasing a puppy and advised by email that the cost was $300 for the puppy and $150 for shipping.

The man agreed to buy a male puppy for a special at $200 and paid a total of $350 at a Western Union Bank by transferring a cash deposit to Emmanuel Carter in Newark, Delaware.

Four days later, the victim received an email telling him that there was a problem with the shipping company because they needed $660 transferred directly to Emmanuel Carter in order to process the insurance papers and cage fee. When the victim received multiple phone calls about this second money transfer, he stated he was told the puppy would be turned over to “Pets Rescue Group” if he did not send in the money. The scammers said the Martinez man could be charged $10,000 if that happened because he abandoned the puppy, which was registered under his name as the owner.

So the victim transferred $660 because he “was scared of being charged for the abandonment,” a sheriff’s report says.

The victim was told to send the receipt in the mail as proof of his transaction, but they refused to give him an actual address.

On Sept. 15, the victim got another email, demanding more money. It said, “Assistant Director says puppy must be re-vaccinated since vaccines given yesterday are already expired, lasts 12 hours. Vaccines will cost $260 for 2 days that puppy has been here and $120 for feeding and accommodation. Once paid then the puppy will leave.”  The victim was told to send this wire transfer to a different subject, Melvin Bernard, in Newark, Delaware.

This time, the victim wised up. He didn’t send the money and contacted the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office instead. An investigation is underway.