PALATKA, Fla. — Service members, military spouses and veterans are all reporting a large loss of money to online scammers, according to a 2020 report by the Better Business Bureau of Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.
Tom Stephens, the CEO and president of the organization, said it’s mostly because many military members are active duty or acting as a single parent while their loved ones are overseas.
Online shopping is easier and many just don’t have time to research every advertisement online.
The two biggest scams right now are job postings and dogs for sale.
Retired U.S. Navy Chief Master at Arms Jim Weber and his wife, Judy, were searching for the perfect pup. The couple lost their Chihuahua, Marilyn, when she was hit by a car. They wanted another dog, but now they’re out $250.
“I’ve got stage 4 cancer in my spine, so I’m limited in my mobility,” Weber said. “This puppy was supposed to be my friend, help fill a void in my heart.”
Weber’s wife saw an ad on Facebook, advertising Chihuahua puppies for $500 each.
“They [the seller] said they were out of Georgia,” Weber said. “And that all we needed was $250 for a down payment, and they would ship the puppy down here.”
Weber exchanged 189 emails with the seller. He even sent his proof of payment. Once he paid, the seller stopped responding.
“They didn’t respond for a while,” Weber said. “I sent…