Puppy love can be costly. That’s because it may also be a fraud with ties pointing down the road to Atlanta. “They deceived me,” Andrea Reeves confessed.
Andrea and her husband were looking for a Doberman pinscher puppy but couldn’t find one in their area.
So the Walton County couple did an internet search and discovered Zero. He was listed at $1200, but you could get half-price this week only.
Never mind that the photo of the trainer showed a male when the name was given was a woman. Never mind that much of the content on the website appeared to have been composed by someone whose primary language is not English.
And never mind that phone calls were returned by someone who never gave their name, only the number they were calling from which seemed to be a Georgia area code.
On the following day, Andrea received an email stating that she needed to make a refundable payment of $1599 for an air-conditioned crate to transport Zero to Social Circle since his health was now her legal duty.
“I was devastated,” she claimed. So they once more drew on their honeymoon fund and sent additional money.
Andrea said she would later receive the actual crate which never came. So she returned to the website and discovered that all references to Zero were gone.
Andrea decided to dig. The Cash App account that the scammers supplied her belonged to a woman with an address in Atlanta.
Tonia Ottley was easy to find. Her Epochal Array company produced handmade clothing, which is listed on the Cash App account.
Andrea promptly sued her in Fulton County Magistrate Court, claiming that she had asked for all her money back.
Tonia Ottley was found by the FOX 5 I-Team.
She said she rarely looks at her Cash App account and only discovered proof of fraud after we informed her. She also claimed to be a victim and agreed to meet with Andrea via Zoom.
Tonia said, “This is ridiculous. That’s not the kind of person I am. I would never do that to anyone.”
The FOX 5 I-Team covered a similar dog scam two years ago, in which people all across the country pay for a dog online and are instructed to go to a given Atlanta address for collection.
However, the person coming to the address says they meet no one there.
The narrative doesn’t go there, however. Every con has a surprise twist. The Fox 5 I-Team took things a step further after the Zoom session.
Tonia said she had worked as a bartender at a local strip club part-time.
When we attempted to impersonate a potential client to the same fraud website, we were told to send proof of payment to a name that isn’t Tonia Ottley.
We discovered an Instagram account for Tonia called niathestyleguru.
Someone complained online in April 2020 that they had been instructed by another puppy scammer to send cash to this address: [email protected]
Other people have accused Tonia of using her name as a way to get money, which has appeared on her Cash App and PayPal accounts and has been traced back to a number of different names.
Tonia denied any wrongdoing when we showed her the screenshots from the Instagram account, saying she doesn’t know how it got connected with other people.
She said that one person who came for a job interview at her house likely created the link in her name.
In the end, she agreed to refund Andrea her money and give her 50 percent of what they paid for Zero.
Tonia promised a check was in the mail with a tracking number.
The next day, however, Andrea got another surprise email from PayPal saying that Tonia had reversed the payment after making good on it.
According to reports, Tonia was using the Cash App to steal Andrea’s money. Someone had apparently hacked into numerous accounts.
“I’m not buying it,” Andrea stated as she filed criminal charges against Tonia.
According to Cash App’s policy, the firm will fully cooperate with all law enforcement demands, which would include every one of Tonia’s accounts and every transaction they’ve ever made.
If you adore puppies, you should read it before getting another four-legged companion, and don’s let yourself become the victim.
Check the buyer’s identity if he/she is on the scammer list.