Hampton Police warn about fraudulent online advertisements for animal adoption

HAMPTON, Va. - The Hampton Police Department is warning folks to be on the lookout for fraudulent online posts about animal adoptions.

According to a Facebook post from the police department, criminals are using stock images of animals and arranging for payment of the adoption online.

"The animal itself is fraudulent, the back story they provide is often a pressure sale where it's a hard luck story or they are being transferred or moving and for whatever reason they can't take this animal with them," Detective Corporal Tony Rolls told News 3 anchor Todd Corillo Monday.

At the Peninsula SPCA, Executive Director Ellen Thacker says there's a benefit to coming in to a shelter to see an animal in person.

"It's very easy to look at an animal in a photograph and think oh that's perfect for me just because of what it looks like but it really has so much more to do with the personality, the way the animal interacts with you and your family," Thacker explained.

Police are warning folks not to conduct transactions for pets over the internet.

Instead, they recommend seeing the pet in person before exchanging any money electronically.