Northport woman sounds alarm on puppy scam that's put her safety at risk

Stacey Sager Image
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Long Island resident sounds alarm on Facebook puppy scam
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Northport resident Jane Dietl said her Facebook account was suddenly putting up ads for puppies, suggesting a DM for payment through Zelle. Stacey Sager has more.

NORTHPORT, Long Island (WABC) -- A woman from Long Island is sounding the alarm about a lucrative puppy scam that she only discovered after people started showing up at her home to pick up their brand new dog.

Northport resident Jane Dietl described a scam on her Facebook account that has gotten pretty frightening. The account, which she hadn't touched in about three years, was suddenly putting up ads for puppies, Yorkies, suggesting a DM for payment through Zelle.

"My friends they're saying, 'Oh, you're selling puppies, they're so beautiful, can I see them?' I'm like, 'puppies? What are you talking about,'" Dietl said.

It got worse. People who paid hundreds of dollars for the puppies started showing up at Dietl's door.

"One paid $600, one paid $650, one paid $350, another one gave a $150 dollar deposit," she said. "I'm worried about my safety and the children's safety. We can't have people coming here."

Dietl says she feels terrible for them, and she's not the only one.

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"You could've inserted my wife into the story, and it's the same exact thing," Facebook scam victim Christian Narag said.

Narag, of Florham Park, New Jersey, had people showing up at his door, including a mom and her 5-year-old, who were disappointed that they got no cute puppy, and an angrier victim at 6 a.m. on Wednesday who had paid.

"There's a man in the dark pounding on our front door," Narag said.

Narag and Dietl both filed police reports so the other scam victims would understand that this wasn't their fault.

Now, Dietl's just worried about her children and grandchildren every time she answers her door.

Plus, when each of them reached out to Facebook, they had no luck. They received emails saying that their profiles weren't taken down because they didn't violate Facebook's terms and conditions and they can't remove them because the accounts now have new passwords, with emails that aren't even theirs.

"Facebook should be held responsible because if something happens and I get an irate person coming to my home," Dietl said. "God knows, they could come and shoot you up these days."

"That kind of violates the terms and conditions of humanity," Narag said.

Dietl and Narag talked to Eyewitness News reporter Stacey Sager, not because they think this problem will be solved anytime soon, but more to make other people aware of it.

They say that if it happened to them, it could happen to anyone.

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