FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. — The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said it has received dozens of complaints about puppy scams throughout the county.

Since 2020, there have been 10 cases reported to the sheriff’s office and 20 cases reported to the Flagler Beach Police Department.

Deputies said in recent cases, victims have responded to ads on sites like Craigslist and social media platforms.

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Victims show interest in a puppy listed for sale, move forward with the process to reserve a puppy, put down a deposit or entire amount and the seller disappears, deputies said.

Deputies said there are several red flags to look out for when looking to buy a puppy.

• The seller prefers to handle communication solely via email and not over the phone.

• Photos posted of the dogs or shared with potential buyers are stock photos.

• Photos and descriptions of the animal can be found on multiple websites.

• Untraditional payment requests, where the seller asks for wiring of money or payment by gift cards.

• The price is too good to be true.

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Deputies said recent cases also included fraudulent American Kennel Club paperwork where the seller claimed the puppies were AKC-certified.

AKC-registered animals will always be listed through the AKC, and the certification can be verified by calling 919-233-9767,…

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