Bogus pet breeder with Upstate ties luring victims with fake websites

A bogus pet breeder claiming to be from the Upstate has taken money and failed to deliver.

The Better Business Bureau warns the scammers lure in victims with photos of adorable puppies that aren’t theirs to sell.

It all started with a complaint about one website selling schnauzers, and now there’s evidence linking that seller to a number of sites hoping pet lovers will take the bait.

They are full of photos of adorable puppies just waiting for a home, the only problem: …

“They were actually stealing content and photos from other websites,” said Vee Daniel, President of the BBB of the Upstate.

Daniel says a victim from Pennsylvania reported the scam when she paid $800 dollars and never got the schnauzer she was promised.

“I just got so wrapped up in getting the puppy that i just didn’t do any research at all. My brain flew out the window and my heart took over,” said Janet Kushnereit.

She had found the dog on “Geeks Mini Schnauzers.” The website is now down, thanks to the BBB, but the danger still exists.

“After we received the complaint, we did more investigation and we realized that not only was it one website that this breeder had, or actually we ended up finding a scam breeder, but he had 6 other websites,” said Daniel.

The connection between the 6 websites is that they all have the same phone number.

7News called that number.

The person who picked up admitted he was selling puppies, but when we asked him his address, he responded South Carolina, but would not be more specific, and eventually hung up on us.

The websites don’t list the address either, but Kushnereit did sign a “contract” that lists a Spartanburg location. We checked and the tenants renting that home have never heard of any breeder.

Kushnereit says the scammer was very adept at steering her questions away from the facts, and even though she thought it was odd he wanted her to wire money, there was a big part of her that wanted to believe.

“When I want something I become very determined and ignore my gut feeling which is stupid.”

It turns out the money transfer was from Kushnereit’s Walmart in Pennsylvania went to a Walmart in Anderson County. So investigators are now looking into whether surveillance video can catch anyone local involved in this scam.