Speaks the girl scammed by the Fb web page who impersonates the animal shelter in Petersburg

PETERSBURG, Virginia (WRIC) – Petersburg police issued a public service discover warning folks to concentrate on-line after scammers have been found posing as town kennel on Fb.

The scammers behind the “Assist the Petersburg Animals” web page have taken a whole lot of {dollars} from their victims. The operators of the web page put up pictures of animals they are saying are up for adoption. So when a customer pays the price to undertake an animal, the scammer merely takes the cash with out giving the sufferer the animal he paid for.

8News spoke to a girl who claimed to have been a sufferer of this rip-off.

“The web page appeared completely reputable,” mentioned Samantha Casey.

Casey and his household misplaced their canine in February and had no plans to get one other canine. Nonetheless, she was scrolling via Fb sooner or later and stumbled upon the faux pet adoption web page, “Assist the Petersburg Animals”, the place she noticed some canine that caught her eye. She then she seen one thing unusual.

“There was a French bulldog and there was additionally an English bulldog. I talked to my husband, he mentioned, “It appears reputable”. However there was one thing on the backside that acknowledged that to see these canine it’s important to pay a $ 250 deposit, ”Casey mentioned.

Casey despatched the deposit price to the web page operators. She by no means acquired to satisfy canine.

Police mentioned there have been different victims of this rip-off.

Animal rights activist Jill Navary additionally mentioned she was a sufferer. The faux adoption web page was initially a web page she created and was capable of assist others undertake canine from Petersburg Animal Care & Management. Nonetheless, she advised 8News that her web page was hacked after scammers despatched her an e-mail pretending to be from the favored pet adoption web site Petfinder.

Screenshot of hacked Fb pages for pet adoption. Credit score: 8News

“I acquired an e-mail from Petfinder – which I now know is faux – saying I wanted to hyperlink my Fb to my Petfinder account,” Navary mentioned.

From there, the scammers gained entry to a number of pages operated by Navary: “Mates of Henrico County VA Animal Management”, “Assist the Petersburg Animals” and “Bully Rescue & Advocacy Group”. Navary’s pages have all been occupied by scammers. One of many pages now has practically 10,000 followers.

When requested if she went to the police for the scammers, Navary mentioned: “I do not know if they’d even care if I walked right into a police station and mentioned I used to be hacked on Fb.”

Navary mentioned she is now locked out of her personal pages. Web page locators now point out they’re managed by accounts in Nigeria and Maryland. Navary has since created a brand new pet adoption web page, but it surely’s not as common as her earlier ones.

A screenshot of the true Fb web page for pet adoption lately created by Navary. Picture credit score: D’mon Reynolds / 8News

As for the cash folks misplaced as a result of rip-off, Navary mentioned she felt horrible for not having the ability to assist.

“I have never heard of anybody submitting something through the donate button. Everybody adopted their instructions and despatched it via Zelle. I am sorry, I really feel terrible, “she mentioned she.

Navary mentioned she reported the rip-off to Fb and remains to be ready for the pages to shut. The police ask anybody with info to contact Crime Solvers at 804-861-1212 or submit an internet tip.

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