Puppy love and the fake classified ad

22 January 2007

Classified ads offering Bulldog and Yorkie puppies are one of the latest scams making their way into local newspapers across the country and on-line classifieds.

The aim of the scam is to try to persuade potential buyers to pay to have the puppy transported to their address. Payment is to be made via money transfer, but the puppy is never delivered and the scammer pockets the money.

The ads usually offer 'AKC registered' puppies that have been 'home-raised with children in a loving environment'. To engage the reader, some of the ads also include photos of very cute puppies.

Typically the seller has had to move to West Africa or similar. The puppy's location can vary from Africa to an Australian address.

Protect yourself from these scams:

  • 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 explore advice on bringing cats and dogs (and other pets) to Australia.
  • Avoid any arrangement that asks for upfront payment via money order, wire transfer or money gram.
  • Do an internet search using the exact wording in the ad – many well known scams can be found this way.
  • Get advice regarding the animal's details provided in the ad from someone in the industry such as a breeders' association, a vet or your local pet shop.

Find out more about Up-front payment scams

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