Since the beginning of the pandemic, police have been made fully aware of the increasing stats of puppy scams cases during pandemics. There are so many new reports of people losing money while trying to purchase a puppy online.
The highest rate of puppy scam cases reported victims are from the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Recently, Sydney police arrested a man who was allegedly scamming people with a puppy that never existed.
The Sydney police have been following a year long investigation on a 53 year old man before they arrested him. It’s alleged that the scammers have stolen more than $91K from people who want to buy a puppy.
The police found out about the puppy scammer’s operation after a series of fake advertisements selling both French and English Bulldog. The dogs were advertised with a price range from $2,000 to $5,000. After the man was arrested, police found that he received $91,580 from 23 victims. That’s an average of $3,981.74 from each person.
The scammer also confessed that all the money he took by scamming people with a puppy goes to cryptocurrency for money laundering. That’s why the police believe that the man is part of the multinational crime syndicate.
With the investigation still ongoing, the police are trying hard to uncover the truth behind the syndicate by tracing the scammer’s money and asking for anyone who has information to report it to the police.
They also asked anyone who wanted to buy a puppy to do their homework by checking the seller’s credentials.
Most importantly, police are encouraging anyone who has been scammed to report it to the police since they believe there are still many people out there who are victims. But because of the embarrassment, they don’t report to the police.
Police’s tips to avoid getting scammed
Due to the high increase of online puppy scam cases every year, the police encourage anyone to not easily trust online advertisements. Always do your due diligence and check the credentials of the seller or breeder.
Here are some tips to avoid getting scammed for a puppy:
- Do your own research on the seller. Research as much information as possible about the puppy seller
- Meet the puppy seller in person, if it’s possible. If not possible, do video calls with the seller and the puppy.
- Never pay for the shipping before you confirm if the seller is reputable breeder
- Don’t pay the seller if he/she asks you to pay via unsecured payment methods such as wire transfer or gift card.
- It’s more secure to buy a puppy from someone you know, or recommended by someone you trust.
This arrest is a huge step to uncover a possible syndicate of puppy scammers around the world. But it doesn’t mean you can let your guard down by easily trusting the puppy sellers you’ve just met online.
If the worst case happens to you that you got scammed (hopefully it won’t), don’t hesitate to report to the police. That way the police can hopefully track them down and arrest them. This is difficult to do with the fake email addresses and profiles that are created for the scam.
Lastly, if you have been scammed or some you know has, you can share the puppy scammers’ identity by reporting to us. We will make the puppy scammer identity information public, so hopefully, future victims can avoid being ripped off by puppy scammers.