Charlotte woman says she lost $800 in monkey scam

Lucy Gentile told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke her sister had a monkey for 27 years and it died. Gentile said she wanted to get her sister another monkey and found one online named Nancy.

Gentile said the scammer had her pay in gift cards, which is always a red flag, and kept finding other ways to nickel and dime her.

“They wanted 200 more dollars because they said the monkey needed a COVID-19 shot. I mean humans don’t even have those yet. How are they going to give it to a monkey? Then I thought I was really duped for sure,” she told Stoogenke.

Gentile said she spent $800 before realizing it was a con.

“I’m very upset about it,” she said.

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Gentile said the scammer had her and her sister drive to a CVS parking lot in Raleigh to pick Nancy up and no one showed up for the transaction.

“They said, ‘We’ll be there soon. We’re coming. We’ll be there soon. Oh, we’re just packing up her things. We’ll be there soon,’”

They waited for four hours.

“I feel terrible,” Gentile said. “My sister, all the way home that night, she cried. She cried herself to sleep, and she’s an old woman. That’s not fair. That’s just hard.”

North Carolina doesn’t have a law about owning exotic animals. The low varies from county to county whether it’s legal.

It’s illegal to own a monkey in Mecklenburg County.

It’s usually best to get a pet in person and try to rescue one, Stoogenke said.

How to avoid any online pet scam:

- Research the seller.

- Be suspicious if that person wants you to pay using cash, prepaid cards, wire transfers or Bitcoin.

- Don’t trust the picture or video of the dog that’s online. You don’t know where the seller got it.