Maryland State Police Warn of Online Frauds and Scams Involving Puppies

July 6, 2020

We have seen a recent increase in online scams related to puppies (Yorkies & Pomeranians) for sale on various websites such as Facebook, Craigslist, etc., where the seller requests payment be sent via gift cards, cash apps, etc., but the buyer never receives the animal. DON’T BECOME A SCAM VICTIM! No legitimate seller should ever request payments (for any service or product) via gift cards, and you should only use payment apps with people you know & trust!

According to, it is seeing P2P (Peer-to-Peer payment platforms — such as Zelle, Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Facebook Payments and Cash App) payment services used by scammers who place bogus online classified ads for merchandise, or tickets to concerts and sporting events.

They’re also becoming an increasingly popular payment method for puppy scams, fake check scams and romance scams. Victims can lose hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars. Do not use P2P apps to send money to someone you don’t know.

If you are a victim of a fraud, contact your local police department.