Puppy problem: St. Johns County mother at center of online scam after Facebook account gets hacked

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — A St. Johns County mother says she’s at the center of an online scam but has nothing to do with it. She says her Facebook profile was hacked and now people believe she’s selling puppies, saying they’ve already lost their money.


It went from concerns over not having an account to something much bigger. The local mother said someone showed up at her property ready to receive a dog that doesn’t exist.

The hack happened quickly during overnight hours so she is completely locked out of her account. She wants people to be aware of these types of scams and how easily they can happen regardless of your security setup.

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“Someone impersonating me and stealing money from others is very concerning and the fact I can’t seem to stop it is bothering me a lot,” Lisa-Lee Thomas said.

The puppies may be cute, but they’re technically not real.

“I got a phone call from numerous friends saying, ‘I didn’t know you were selling puppies’ and I said I’m not selling puppies, what are you talking about?” Thomas said.

Lisa-Lee Thomas lives in St. Johns County and earlier this week she said her Facebook account got hacked. Action News Jax saw the post hackers put up on her page that puppies are being given away for just a re-homing fee. Thomas added the hackers are making calls arranging initial and pickup payments to meet at her house, giving away her address, when it wasn’t actually Thomas speaking to them. To her knowledge, that fee is as high as $300.

Read: Send Ben: Jacksonville woman victim of ‘Scamdemic’ after Facebook hacker demands ransom, posts porn

“I’ve had about five people that have come to get a puppy that haven’t. I met one in person; the rest came by when I was at work, and I had multiple people call me that were driving up to five hours to come pick up a puppy. All of them already paid the hacker and to my knowledge so far, none have been able to get their money back,” Thomas said.

One of those alleged victims is Doreen Adelman, who lives in Southwest Florida.

“I had just gotten in my car, I’ve driven one mile when I picked up the phone and called I said, ‘Hey Lisa, this is Doreen, thanks for talking with me I’m on my way to get the puppy’ and she goes, ‘Woah, woah, woah stop’,” Adelman said.

Adelman just lost her dog of 16 years and wanted to get a new puppy, even buying a crate for the drive up to St. Johns County. She’s lost about $54 because luckily, the other payments wouldn’t go through.

Read: Lake City Police Department mourning the loss of retired K9 Memnoch

“I had my heart set on getting a new baby because I lost mine. Not only did I lose my money I lost my hope,” Adelman said in tears.

For Thomas, she’s continued to get text messages and calls from unknown numbers and said at this point, she doesn’t know how many more victims there are. She said she’s tried everything to get the account taken down; from reporting the account and others doing the same, to emailing Facebook. She’s contacted the FTC, FBI, and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office but hasn’t had any luck.

“I felt like I took the right precautions and protected my account with my family and friends but it wasn’t enough,” Thomas said.

Action News Jax reached out to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, Facebook, and Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office to try and get help for those involved in the situation and are waiting to hear back.

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