Beware of holiday scams—especially ones including puppies!

It was recently discovered that an online scam on Craigslist has been ongoing in the DMV area, where an individual (or group of individuals) has been deceiving people into buying puppies for the holidays. Victims have deduced that the scammer probably resides in Fairfax County.

Maryland resident Tiffany Rush, a victim of the scam, was devastated upon finding out she wasn't buying a puppy.

“The $300 is very hard to lose at Christmas time. My kids aren’t going to get as much as they were going to get. They were going to get a puppy. Now that I lost $300, they’re not going to get gifts to make up for this," she said.

Rush had initially wanted to buy a puppy after her friend sent her a Craigslist ad.

Multiple victims went to both the police and local news stations to report on the scam, detailing their experience.

Apparently, victims would find a Craigslist posting about puppies, after which the scammer would both text and talk to the victims on the phone. They alleged the speaker was a woman. The scammer would then request $300 through Cash App, telling victims to send it ASAP less they risk losing out on a puppy. Victims would then receive a receipt and go to the agreed-on address, where they would realize they had been deceived. 

The Fairfax County Police Department have now warned people to be wary about buying things during the holiday season, especially with strangers through cash apps. They advise buyers to do their research.

That advice would certainly have helped the countless people scammed in buying puppies.

Commenting on the situation, Rush said, "I regret, very much, giving away money on something I didn’t know. I have always used PayPal. PayPal is the safest method to use. The woman didn’t use PayPal. That should’ve been my first red flag."

Know of similar scams? Let us know in the comments!