KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A group of dog rescuers is trying to get the word out on scammers using Craigslist to sell dogs .
Many people post or cruise the website when they are trying to buy or sell. This can include pets, especially if they're looking for a last-minute Christmas gifts.
Earlier this year, a local group of dog rescuers started noticing certain phone numbers reappearing in posts selling dogs. They discovered what's called 'dog flipping:' people either lying or stealing to get the dogs, then selling for them for big bucks.
"These people are willing to spend a little bit of money for a dog that they can breed or turn around and sell," said Marie, who wishes to only use her first name.
In the last couple months, the rescue group she is part of has kept track of dog flippers. Many buyers have told the rescue that animals they bought for upward of $450 had health problems like parvovirus.
"It's kind of like a puppy mill on a smaller scale," Marie said.
Marie warns, from the online ad to the exchange of the dog, the signs are suspicious: such as the seller wanting to meet in a parking lot then changes the location after you arrive.
"They don't want to talk to you on the phone. They prefer to text," she said.
The group has seen first-hand the face of the flippers. Marie says two women and a man are now in the metro. Omaha police arrested all three and another man back in April for dog flipping.
"There are people endangering our pets. Misrepresenting and pretty much not doing right by the community of people looking for a pet and try and re-home them," she says.
If you are looking to get a dog off Craigslist, it's always a good reminder to meet at a vet's office and get as much information from the seller. Also, always file a police report if you believe you were scammed by a dog flipper.