Dog buyers beware of online conmen Ben Smith
DOGS West is urging prospective pet owners to be vigilant after reports of online scammers posing as dog breeders.
The Southern River-based organisation says it receives calls on a daily basis from people who believe they have encountered scammers with websites portraying them as respected dog breeders.
The Department of Consumer Protection’s Scam Net recently reported they had shut down the website www.cavdoolpupsaustralia now.com after two people paid $850 each by direct bank transfer for a puppy from the site but never received the dogs.
Dogs West chief executive Ann Rushby said scammers had always been an issue, but the increase due to online advertising made it easier to scam people.
“We receive numerous queries that are potentially scams. They are usually the popular high priced breeds French bulldogs, British bulldogs – as well as other in-demand breeds.”
Ms Rushby said there were several identifying signs the scammers typically used on their websites.
“The pictures used on the fake websites are taken from genuine breeder websites and reproduced without permission,” she said.
“The dogs’ names used are often of various breeds rather than relevant to the breed concerned.”
Dogs West president Pamela Campbell urged potential dog buyers to do their research beforehand.
“You need to buy that dog from someone who’s reputable.
“You should never get an animal unless you can see it; people who scam are relying on the fact you’re a distance away,” she said.
“Anyone who asks for a lot of money up front would be a large warning bell.”
Ms Rushby said anyone who was unsure could check the Dogs West website, where they had a list of recognised breeders of purebred dogs.
“If people obtain the breeder’s name and registered prefix name, they could also ask for the Dogs West number, they can contact us to verify if the person is actually a registered breeder with Dogs West or any other Australian National Kennel Council state member body,” she said.
“Our business system is national and holds the names of all registered breeders of pedigreed dogs in Australia.”
Dogs West president Pamela Campbell with her whippet Liza.