YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Staff with the Mahoning County Dog Warden are warning people who’ve lost their pets to be aware of potential scam artists.

Workers say they’ve been averaging at least one report a week of people losing money to con artists who either try to sell people a new puppy online or claim to have recovered their lost dog or cat and now want money.

“People are putting they lost their dog and other people are contacting them saying we have your dog, but we need you to send us a fee first. I would never do that without researching it to make sure they have your dog.”,” said Lisa Hill, kennel supervisor for the Mahoning County Dog Warden’s Office.

Hill says many of these online scams originate outside this area with no guarantee that money spent on them can ever be recovered.