(NBC News) - Scammers are doing big business in a holiday shopping season of record online sales.
Thieves are offering up hard to find items, from PS5's to puppies.
A purchase requiring an up-front payment quickly turned into disappointment and empty pockets for hopeful pet parent Erica Wilsen.
"I just didn't do due diligence. Buyer beware," Wilsen says.
According to the Better Business Bureau, pet scams now make up nearly a fourth of the scams reported to them.
They warn not to buy a pet unless you see it in person.
That warning goes beyond puppy fever as pandemic precautions drive consumers to make more purchases online.
Scammers are also targeting households expecting packages.
Posing as well known companies, thieves use phony notices to trick customers into handing over account numbers or other personal information.
The Federal Trade Commission is now reminding shoppers to delete or hang up on unsolicited messages, including ones touting access to a COVID-19 vaccine.
Read more: http://nbcnews.to/37ltgLv