DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) You know the saying: if it's too good to be true, it probably is.
Local business leaders warn as an online puppy seller scam pops up in our area. They say this isn't the first time people have falsely profited off man's best friend.
"I'm a huge dog person so it just kills me," Julie Wheeler said.
When Wheeler first heard about icedreambulldog.org, she immediately recognized the format. It's something the Better Business Bureau has seen before.
"This is the third fake puppy site that we've had using an address in our service area in the last year," Wheeler said.
Wheeler says it's the same method of operation each time. Someone uses a local address to legitimize the fake breeder profile, but they're not at the actual location and there are no puppies for buyers.
"If they're offering you a puppy for 20 to 25 percent off what the normal going price is for it, you're not going to get a puppy. You're just going to lose your money," Wheeler said.
The website lists a Danville address but directs buyers to call numbers from the D.C. area and Boston. The photo on their "About Us" page is lifted from another breeder's site. Despite the red flags, there are people who pay the deposit and sign up to have the dog flown out of state to never hear from the seller again.
"I keep bugging the guy. I call him every day, but the website's still up so I'm sure they're getting people left and right," Radell Cook, a scam victim, said.
WDBJ7 tried the same. We called both numbers on the website, left messages, emailed and texted them... but no response.
As for Cook, he says he knows that he'll never get that money back but he able to find a new dog that keeps him busy.
"He's good. He's a little terror. But we got a 5-year-old granddaughter too, so they keep each other company," Cook said.