Maryland man arrested in pet scam

A Maryland man has been arrested in connection with a pet scam in which a Loudoun County, Virginia, resident paid over $1,000 for a kitten she never received.

Junior Perkins A. Tako, 25, turned himself in on Monday and was arrested on a money laundering charge, a Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office news release said. He was released on a $1,000 bond.

The sheriff’s office said Tako received the money through a payment app and acted as a go-between, transferring the money overseas.

In May 2020, the victim said she was researching certified cat breeders and contacted a company online through email. She then transferred money to buy a kitten.

When the breeder asked for more money for travel costs, she refused to pay and asked for a refund. She never got her money back and reported what happened to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

If you are looking for a pet, the sheriff’s office has the following tips

  • Never send money to a pet purchase unless you have seen the animal in person.
  • Deal with local breeders, animal shelters and rescue groups.
  • It is a red flag if someone requests payment via wire transfer or prepaid debit card.
  • Do you research on the seller before sending any money, researching online the sellers full name, address and phone number. If no information is found, or they refuse to let you go to the pet’s home, chances are it is a scam.

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