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County auditors warn of fake dog license websites

Fake dog license website
Posted at 10:49 PM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 23:20:20-05

LAKE COUNTY, Ohio — The websites look so official, they even have a section for frequently asked questions.

But if you try to buy your state required dog license from there, you'll be out of luck.

"If it seems fishy, it probably is," said Lake County Auditor Christopher Galloway.

According to Galloway, the websites "Ohiodoglicense.com" and "ohdog-license.com" are fakes.

"It's a crime of opportunity for them, put websites out there and hopefully if you can cast a wide enough net, you'll get some folks to fall for it," he said.

With 34,000 dogs registered last year in Lake County alone, Galloway says there's a good chance that some folks will fall right into their trap, especially senior citizens. The sites offer them a discount.

"I think it's horrible, I'm a senior citizen and I know that many senior citizens are very venerable to false promises and a discount that may be offered," said Lake County resident Joyce Ragan.

Ragan owns three dogs including 8-year-old cancer survivor Blossom. She says it's awful for folks to pray on older dog owners trying to save a buck.

"I'm alone in my little apartment and the dogs are just tremendous comfort for me and companionship," she said.

Galloway adds not only will these sites take your money and not give you a dog license, they can use information you give them to steal from you.

"They would have your credit card, if you unfortunately used a debit card they could have access to your bank accounts, they would have your date of birth, they would have your address," said Galloway.

Make sure you pay your $20 annual fee to someone credible.

"You can only get your dog license from your county auditor, your county dog shelter, and pre-approved partner locations," he said.

Local law enforcement and the Ohio Attorney General's office are aware of these websites and they're investigating.