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SPCA Serving Erie County warns of puppy scam

"A person is claiming to represent the SPCA Serving Erie County and is requesting down payments on Golden Retriever puppies and other animals," the SPCA said.

WEST SENECA, N.Y. — The SPCA Serving Erie County is warning people of a puppy scam.

In fact, it involves a fake Facebook page that's claiming to be a nonprofit organization.

"We found out about this page the day after it was created by one of our former animal cruelty investigators. We went to the page. We saw several of our existing face book posts with different contact information added to it," Gina Lattuca from the Erie County SPCA said.

SPCA says the fake page is attempting to sell Golden Retrievers. One person who corresponded with the fake Facebook page was asked to send a down payment of $500 in order to pick up a puppy at the SPCA, located at 300 Harlem Road.

Luckily, the customer didn't send any payments.

The SPCA said it was proof of that conversation, which happened on Friday afternoon, and added that it has filed several reports about the fake Facebook site. 

"Somebody in town saw this. They thought that they were communicating with us, came right to our shelter. She showed us her phone. She showed us the text message exchange. As were standing in the lobby, he was talking to her and responding to her," Lattuca says.

The SPCA said the person or people who are behind the page are "also using the organization’s federal identification number in an attempt to steal money from innocent parties." 

The SPCA is asking people not to engage with the fake Facebook account, and that if you do fall victim to its scam, you can find information on how to file a report here.

SPCA also notes before adopting an animal to make you visit the animal beforehand. 

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