A Maryland man was arrested Monday and charged in connection with a pet scam in which a Loudoun County woman paid more than $1,000 for a kitten she never received.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office charged Junior Perkins A. Tako, 25, with money laundering.
Investigators in the agency’s Financial Crimes Unit determined Tako received the payment through an app and acted as a go-between transferring the monies overseas.
According to the report, the victim said she conducted online research on certified breeders in May and then contacted the breeder by email. After making the payment, she was contacted by the breeder asking for more money to cover travel costs. She refused to pay more and asked for a refund.
After no refund was issued, she reported the case to the Sheriff’s Office.
Tako turned himself over to authorities on Dec. 28. He was released on a $1,000 secured bond.
The agency offers the following tips for pet purchasers:
• Never send money for a pet purchase unless you have seen the animal in person.
• Deal with local breeders, animal shelters, and rescue groups.
• Be considered about scams if someone requests payment through a wire transfer or prepaid debit card.
• Do you research on the seller before sending any money, including 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.