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New ‘Pet-Flipping’ Scam Targets Animal Lovers

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(Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

(Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - There’s another new phenomenon related to social media and it’s happening here in St. Louis.

It’s called “pet-flipping” and, unlike “house flipping,” it has negative and even illegal connotations.

The scam generally works like this: people find or steal animals and then list them on Craigslist under “Found Pets” to land some quick cash, often used to buy drugs.

Gale Frey with the rescue group Mutts-N-Stuff says other flippers use a more direct approach, like the woman who recently set up outside a local Walmart.

“She had a sob story, telling me that she didn’t have any money and they couldn’t feed the dog,” she said. “They were begging someone to take the dog for $20.”

When someone agreed to pay the woman $15, she ran to a waiting car and left the area “as quickly as possible,” according to Frey.

Frey says there are signs to tip off potential pet buyers.

“If they won’t allow you to come to their home. If they won’t allow you to interact with the dog after the dog has gone to their home, that’s a pretty big red flag,” she said.

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