Fargo Police warn of kitten scam

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 10:23 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Buyers beware. A website claiming to sell kittens in the Fargo area is not what it seems.

“An individual reached out to us through our website from Arizona claiming that they were having issues with this cat breeder that lives or claimed to be local here in Fargo,” Jessica Schindeldecker with the Fargo Police said.

That person told police they’ve lost more than $2,000, paying fees for adoption, vaccines, shipping, a city permit, and an additional request for $1,000 for COVID-related fees.

“One of the hardest things I have to do is tell people that they’re probably never going to see that money again,” Schindeldecker said.

Schnideldecker says immediately after looking at the website, she knew it was most likely a scam. Grammar and punctuation issues are just one of the many red flags.

And a little digging shows even more troublesome signs. The location shown on the website pins the business somewhere in downtown Fargo, but the address brings you to a residential neighborhood in south Fargo.

If you give them a call, no answer.

An email exchange with Valley News Live shows more typos, reluctance to be able to see the kittens, and refusal to answer when they are asked if they are a scam.

BBB Scam Tracker, which is BBB’s free public tool to report suspicious activity shows one heartbreaking story after another,” Bao Vang, Communications Director of Better Business Bureau- Minnesota & North Dakota, said.

The kitten scam is just one example impacting our region. The BBB Scam Tracker showing a report to the BBB says this person in Moorhead was scammed out of upwards of $60,000 after trying to buy a puppy.

That’s why it’s important to avoid buying before seeing the animal in person, check references for the website, and never wire money as this offers no customer protection.

Officials say if you think you have come across a scam, make sure you report it to the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission so that others don’t fall victim.

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