Abu Dhabi Police has warned the public to be wary of online adverts offering pets for sale or adoption.
The force said fraudsters are preying on people looking for furry friends on social media.
While people offering animals sometimes ask for shipping and insurance money from abroad, criminals typically insist on the cash being transferred directly into their account or through local and international exchange agents licensed in their country.
Maj Gen Mohammed Al Rashidi, director of the criminal security sector at Abu Dhabi police, urged people to report such adverts.
He said fraudsters take advantage of the victims by offering goods or services at competitive prices.
These businesses are not registered in the UAE and use bogus phone numbers. Many such cases have been reported, Maj Gen Al Rashidi said.
Residents can file reports at their nearest police station, ring the 24-hour toll-free number 800 2626 or send a text message to 2828.
Complaints can also be made using the Abu Dhabi Police smartphone app.