SCAMwatch is again warning consumers to be cautious of classified ads for pedigree pups at prices that are too good to be true.

SCAMwatch continues to receive reports of non-existent pedigree puppies being advertised at low prices in newspapers and classifieds websites. Ads often include cute photos and claims such as ‘raised in loving family’ as the scammer tries to melt your heart and cloud your judgement.

Typically the seller claims they have had to move overseas and then tries to persuade the buyer to pay a fee for the dog to be transported to their home from either within Australia or overseas. When payment is subsequently made via money transfer, the puppy is never delivered.

If you are looking for a new furry friend, choose your seller carefully so that you get the puppy you hoped for.

Classifieds scams are also common for cars, boats, motor bikes, and more recently for horses and saddles as well.

Protect yourself

  • Be cautious—if the advertised price of a pedigree puppy looks too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Don’t trust the legitimacy of an ad just because it appears in a reputable newspaper or online classifieds website—scammers often use these.
  • Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for up-front payment via money order, wire transfer or moneygram.
  • Do an internet search using the exact wording in the ad—many well-known scams can be found this way.
  • If you are in doubt contact a reputable breeders association for advice.
  • Remember: it is impossible to import a dog from overseas into Australia in a few weeks as quarantine procedures need to be followed. For details check the requirements with the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.


You can report a scam to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch.

More information

For more information about how you can protect yourself, check out the up-front payment scams page on SCAMwatch.

SCAMwatch has also issued the following radars on classifieds scams in the past:

Read more

Classified scams trick online shoppers on classified websites into thinking they are dealing with a legitimate contact but it is actually a scammer.
Online shopping scams involve scammers pretending to be legitimate online sellers, either with a fake website or a fake ad on a genuine retailer site.