NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The New Kent County Sheriff’s Office reports there has been an uptick in hacked Facebook profiles attempting to scam people into paying for puppies that don’t exist.
The accounts — which disguise themselves as local residents — list puppies for sale, according to authorities. If successful in receiving payment, the accounts then give the would-be buyer directions to the real account holders’ addresses for pickup — where no puppies are found.
Authorities say that these hacked accounts can look very legitimate and even use photos of known individuals to trick family and friends.
In order to avoid these scams, the New Kent County Sheriff’s Office recommends approaching online requests for money with shrewdness. Even if the Facebook account is of a known friend, authorities recommend reaching out to that person outside of social media to ensure the request is legitimate.
“If you do not feel comfortable, do not complete the sale,” a statement from the New Kent Sheriff’s Office reads. “You may also request to meet the seller in person at a public location such as the safe exchange zone at the sheriff’s office before any monetary transaction occurs.”
Victim’s of compromised or hacked Facebook accounts are encouraged to visit Facebook’s security page, here.