Woman’s money stolen trying to buy monkey

Police say they have seen schemes like this before

(CNN) – A woman tried to buy a monkey online from what she thought was a legitimate seller. Now she’s out quite a bit of money, and is without the would-be pet.

It’s a familiar breed of monkey, shown often in the movies or on TV. Which is why Erica Craft and her family wanted one.

Craft said, “For three years I’ve been saying no, no, no, no, no and finally we researched about how to take care of one and we see that we can kinda do it.”

There are lots of sites online willing to sell capuchin monkeys for thousands of dollars. Craft found one classified ad with a hundred dollar price tag. After she wired the money to Atlanta, the alleged breeder asked her to send another 860 dollars for insurance to fly the monkey from Baltimore to Kansas.

Craft said, “They tried to get more money from us and threatened us with going to jail from the FBI.”

No monkey ever came, that’s when Craft called police. She said,”We are probably going to hear a lot of crap from family members now, because we kinda kept this secret from them.”

Animal experts warn monkeys are not an ideal house pet. Matt Fouts at Tanganyika Wildlife Park understands the appeal of having an exotic animal at home, but says it takes more work than people realize. He said, “You can see a lot of problems a lot attitude changes and they can be very difficult not to mention they can be difficult to house train.”

Plus, many wild animals are illegal to own. Fouts said, “USDA has laws and permits that you have to get for a lot of animals, and then states or local authorities have more restrictions a lot of times on what you can and can’t have.”

Police say they have seen schemes like this before, including with other animals.

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