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Puppy love sees Aussies scammed almost $300k

By Grace Ormsby · May 20 2020
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egg

Save

Puppy love sees Aussies scammed almost $300k

By Grace Ormsby
May 20 2020
Reading:
egg
Aussies puppy scammed

Puppy love sees Aussies scammed almost $300k

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By Grace Ormsby · May 20 2020
Reading:
egg
Aussies puppy scammed

The consumer watchdog has issued a warning to Australians seeking a furry friend in social isolation.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), puppy scams have cost unsuspecting individuals and families almost $300,000 in 2020 alone.

It’s courtesy, in part, to a rise in Australians looking for companions to ride out the COVID-19 crisis.

Scamwatch has revealed April reports of puppy scams were almost five times higher than the average, with scammers setting up fake websites or online classified advertisements and social media posts pretending to sell sought-after dog breeds.

Cavoodles and French bulldogs are reportedly most often the dog breeds targeted in such scams.

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The ACCC said fraudsters are taking advantage of the fact that people can’t travel to meet the dog in person.

“A lot of people are stuck at home and going online to buy a pet to help them get through the loneliness of social isolation,” the ACCC’s deputy chair, Delia Rickard, commented.

“Unfortunately, the rush to get a new pet and the unusual circumstances of COVID-19 make it harder to work out what’s real or a scam.”

Puppy scammers will usually ask for an upfront payment for the pup via money transfer, and will offer to transport it to you.

But the scam doesn’t end there, Ms Rickard flagged.

“Once you have paid the initial deposit, the scammer will find new ways to ask for more money, and scammers are now using the COVID-19 pandemic to claim higher transportation costs to get across closed interstate borders or additional fees for ‘coronavirus treatments’,” she explained.

“Unfortunately, once you make the payments, the seller will cease all contact.”

Ms Rickard has advised that the safest option for purchasing a new pet is to “only buy or adopt a pet you can meet in person”.

“If you cannot do that during the current lockdown restrictions, consider putting the search on hold.”

She added that “scam websites can look quite convincing, so try not to fall for the adorable puppy pictures they post, and remember, if the price looks too good to be true, it probably is”.

“Research the seller by running an internet search using the exact wording in the ad and do a reverse image search for pictures of the specific puppy, as you’re likely to be dealing with a scammer if you find matching images or text on multiple websites,” Ms Rickard recommended.

“If you are in doubt, seek advice from a reputable breeders association, vet or local pet shop.”

Here are five other scams you need to be wary of during COVID-19.

Puppy love sees Aussies scammed almost $300k
Aussies puppy scammed
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About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

Join The Nest Egg community

We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians

Your email address will be shared with nestegg and subject to our Privacy Policy

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