COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Franklin County auditor’s office is sending out a warning for dog owners.

It’s the time of the year to get a license for your pup, but several sites saying they want to help you register are under investigation.

When the MacLachlan family got their puppy, Maxwell, they knew they had to purchase a dog license. When they searched for the website, they went to the first site that popped up to register for one.

“I said it doesn’t look right, it doesn’t feel right,” victim, Douglas MacLachlan said.

However, his wife said it looked official and had to be the correct site.

“It shows state of Ohio for license and the questions and what township, what county,” Sarah MacLachlan said.

So they filled out the online form with their personal information and paid the $20 fee using their credit card and even got a confirmation code in their email.

However, they were never asked about their dog’s rabies information, so that’s when they called the Franklin County Auditor’s office.

So far, the auditor’s office says it knows of around a half dozen people who used a similar site.

“It’s scamming residents not just in Franklin County, but in the state of Ohio,” Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinziano said.

Dog licensing season started December 1. Beforehand, several notices were sent out to residents, which is why Stinziano believes the state was targeted.

“The scam is pretty sophisticated and they have clearly thought ways to generate a higher profile,” Stinziano said.

However, there are some red flags on the site, for one,  the website claims there is a senior discount, which is not true.

“It talks about fishing license, the fee isn’t the same and talks about a penalty, but you have to know the stuff,” Stinziano said.

With more than 100,000 people in the county registering for dog licenses a year, he wants people to be aware.

“It’s very troubling in that regard, we are working with local law enforcement, attorney general affairs bureau,” Stinziano said.

The sites are popping up in three other states as well.

It’s also important to note that dog licenses are only sold through the counties, not the state.

So, its best to go straight to the auditor’s website.

The two sites to be aware of are: and