A North Carolina veterinarian is in trouble with the law and has been charged with identity theft and financial card fraud.
Paula Bullock, the owner of Affordable Animal Care on North Pointe Drive in Durham, was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of identity theft and one count each of financial card fraud, forgery, obtaining property by false pretense and accessing a computer network for fraud over $1,000.
Bullock is accused of using a customer’s credit card for personal expenses in excess of $36,000 and more than $2,500 in vet supplies. This took place between December 2016 and April 2017.
On top of this, Bullock allegedly used another veterinarian’s identity and forged documents to purchase more than $11,700 in veterinary supplies and medications.
Upon further investigation on the BBB (Better Business Bureau) website, there are several billing complaints listed. One dates back to November 28, 2016, stating
“On November 28, 2016 at 6:48pm I received a text from my Mom. It was concerning the vet bill and how $2,000 was charged on her credit card. These extra charges that my Mom noticed were charges I and my Mom didn?t authorize or consent too. ***** had my cell number and my Mom?s cell number, so there was no reason as to why she shouldn?t have called us. No one from Affordable Animal Care called me or my Mom to let us know of any additional payments that were being charged. I was told on Monday November 7, 2016 that we were good with the bill and nothing else was owed to Affordable Animal Care. To my knowledge, a company cannot illegally use someone else?s credit card information. Especially, without their consent or acknowledgement about additional charges.”
Going back to March 2, 2015, another billing complaint came into the BBB stating
“They performed treatment on my dog that I did not authorized for the amount of $709 as they initially told me. I had to pay $454.60 in order to be able to retrieve my dog. Again, I was told that if I didn’t pay they wouldn’t give me my dog back. I did authorize the examination that was $41. I did take the medicines they gave me home, and those were $20.60 for ******** Tablets, $18 for ********** Tablets, and $22 for *******************. The 3 medicines plus the exam total the amount of $101.60, so I want a reimbursement of the difference, that is $454.60 I paid minus $101.60, so they need to reimburse me $353.00.”
Affordable Animal Care of Durham has received 2.11 out of 5 stars based on 2 Customer Reviews (one negative and one positive) and a BBB Rating of D. The business is not BBB accredited.
We should always check out any veterinary practice before taking a pet in for a visit, just to be sure there aren’t any monetary surprises waiting in our future.
Facebook: Friends of Rowan County Shelter Animals posted their concerns Friday afternoon saying
“This woman took several dogs and cats from Rowan County with the help of local and non-local people who follow this page. We pray these animals are still safe and will find their way to responsible rescues or homes. I encourage those who helped get these animals to her rescue, to check on the status of them.
PLEASE PLEASE do your continued research on what organizations you are working with or donating your money to. We all want to see every animal make it out of the shelter but is it worth the price they may pay if they get into the wrong hands?
If you ever have questions or concerns, please message the page.”
This should be an interesting case to follow, since the BBB website shows there were problems before December 2016 and five out of seven complaints were left unsettled, meaning Affordable Animal Care of Durham never responded back to the BBB.
If you’ve been a victim of Ms. Bullock, please contact Durham police investigator D. Hall at 919-560-4440, extension 29319.