Woof! Cuyahoga County warning of fake website trying to get you to license your dog

Scam site is being run from outside the U.S.

Woof! Cuyahoga County warning of fake website trying to get you to license your dog

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -The Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs is warning dog owners about a scam website trying to sell state licenses for dogs.

The major red flag is in Ohio you don’t by a state licence, you buy a county license.

The website tries to get you to enter your information including credit card numbers and personal information.

The timing of this scam is based on pet owners trying to renew license for 2020.

“People rushing to meet the deadlines may stumble onto the scam site, give away personal information, and get stuck without the dog licenses they paid for,” said Sheryl Harris, Director of the Cuyahoga County Department of Consumer Affairs.

The fake site, pictured below, is even designed to look like a state of Ohio government website.

This is the fake, repeat fake, Ohio dog license website. Notice how it is even designed to look like a website used by Ohio government pages.
This is the fake, repeat fake, Ohio dog license website. Notice how it is even designed to look like a website used by Ohio government pages. (Source: WOIO)

Adding to the concern is when you Google search, “Ohio dog license," the fake website shows up at the top as a paid ad.

The scammers in this case have even paid for, and gotten Google to list the fake website on top of search results for "Ohio dog license," as an ad.
The scammers in this case have even paid for, and gotten Google to list the fake website on top of search results for "Ohio dog license," as an ad. (Source: WOIO/Google)

The site tries to scare people with the line, “Attention: Dog owners with no license can be cited with a fine up to $300 per violation plus court costs,” which is also a lie.

The county said the actual late fee they charge is $20.

All dogs licenses are issued through the county in which you live.

To register your dog in Cuyahoga County use this link: Cuyahoga County 2020 Dog License Registration.

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