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San Clemente Couple Fall Victim To Online Puppy Scam

SAN CLEMENTE ( — An Orange County couple lost $500 after being conned online by someone posing as a dog breeder.

Animal lover Elena Nauman is determined to find out where the money went after she and her husband answered an ad on offering Dalmatian puppies for sale.

"I'm mad that I was scammed out of $500, not as concerned about the money, for myself, but where did it go, because of the way I paid," the San Clemente resident told CBS2/KCAL9's Michele Gile.

The breeder claimed to be local and Nauman agreed to buy two pups.

She followed the alleged dog breeder's instructions and bought a $500 prepaid money card, Reloadit, as a deposit.

They communicated via email, text message and cell phone, but never met in person.

The day after Christmas, Nauman gave the code number on the back of the prepaid card to a man she thought was the Dalmatian's owner.

It was when he asked for another $500 for a larger crate to ship the dogs that Nauman realized she was being fooled.

"I'd already had a number of other red flags: the poor grammatical language in the email, he said 'I had a gold member account' -- gold member of what? I never asked," Nauman said. "He started to threaten us too: 'We're going to dump the puppies. We're going to sell the puppies.' And calling us and screaming us on the phone that he wants the $500 and he can't ship [the puppies] without, and if he does they're going to die."

Nauman says she doesn't believe there ever were Dalmatian puppies.

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