Jamestown family gets its puppy money refundedThe Grinch who stole $350 from a Jamestown family hoping to buy a puppy might be disappointed — the family’s money has been returned and a puppy is expected by the end of January. “I just feel better dealing locally this time,” said Marlene Partlow, who became the victim of an online scam when she tried to purchase a teacup Chihuahua in November.
By: By Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
The Grinch who stole $350 from a Jamestown family hoping to buy a puppy might be disappointed — the family’s money has been returned and a puppy is expected by the end of January.
“I just feel better dealing locally this time,” said Marlene Partlow, who became the victim of an online scam when she tried to purchase a teacup Chihuahua in November.
Losing the $350 she had budgeted toward the purchase meant her family would just have to go without the puppy.
However, after investigating Partlow’s report of the puppy fraud, online payment service PayPal gave her a full refund. Partlow isn’t sure whether the money was taken from the scammer’s account or whether PayPal paid it.
Getting their money back has meant a lot to the Jamestown family.
After hearing of Partlow’s predicament, a kind person offered the family a free dog, but once the refund went through, Partlow felt she couldn’t accept the offer.
Instead, the family is purchasing a female teacup Chihuahua from a breeder in Devils Lake. The dog, tentatively named Bella, is now two months old, Partlow said, calling her “the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.”
And when Bella is ready to leave her mother at the end of January, Partlow will be able to drive to pick up the puppy personally.
She said she appreciated PayPal’s efforts to make the situation right.
Partlow’s other efforts to combat the scammer calling herself Thalia Hernandez have slowed a little bit, though responses continue to come in from various online sales venues.
EBay Classifieds couldn’t tell Partlow the results of its investigation into Hernandez. Oodle.com removed all the scammer’s ads. A representative of Webs.com, which was hosting Hernandez’s site, told Partlow the company would investigate.
Partlow has also flagged every ad by the same scammer that she could find on CraigsList.
“My guess is, she’s moved on to another new phone number and another name by now,” Partlow said. “It’s not that I’ve given up, but I’ve tried.”
Despite everything, she still generally trusts online vendors, and plans to use PayPal to pay for Bella.
However, Partlow will be more careful when purchasing big items from now on.
“I think I took all the right steps. I don’t think I did anything wrong,” she said. “But there’s always someone a couple steps ahead of you.”
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be
reached at 701-952-8453
or by email at