Beware on­line dog scams

Pilbara News - - News -

With on­line puppy scams on the rise, more and more Pil­bara lo­cals are hav­ing to fork out hun­dreds for vet bills or be­ing scammed out of their money com­pletely.

Scam­mers and dodgy breed­ers are mak­ing their way onto puppy sell­ing web­sites and lo­cal com­mu­nity Face­book groups such as Buy Swap Sell.

Theresa Rus­sel-Smith is the ad­min­is­tra­tor of the Face­book page Kar­ratha Buy, Sell, Swap, which has more than 14,000 mem­bers.

“We have had a few but peo­ple are pretty quick to tag us; just last week we had one for Labrador pups in Queens­land for $1000 each, the same post had been re­ported in many groups through­out Aus­tralia,” she said.

Kar­ratha res­i­dent Jemma Brown was al­most swin­dled out of her money af­ter try­ing to pur­chase a French bull­dog puppy from a phony breeder on­line.

Ms Brown said she con­tacted the sup­posed breeder who asked her to make a bank trans­fer.

“I was just about to do it but some­thing made me think about it; I asked her if we could use PayPal in­stead,” she said.

Af­ter the money was sent, Ms Brown heard noth­ing and the breeder be­came hos­tile and hard to con­tact.

Re­al­is­ing it was all a scam, she alerted PayPal who, af­ter thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion, gave her money back.

Kar­ratha Vet Hos­pi­tal veter- inar­ian Dr Tim Mont­gomery said scams also hap­pen in the form of dodgy breed­ing where peo­ple re­ceive sick dogs and breed­ers take no re­spon­si­bil­ity.

He re­calls a time a client spent hun­dreds of dol­lars on vet bills af­ter re­ceiv­ing a mal­nour­ished puppy suf­fer­ing from di­ar­rhoea who strug­gled to put on weight.

“The breeder tried to shift the blame to the air­line or to ba­si­cally any­body else… but it was clearly un­well be­fore be­ing sent,” he said.

“With the breeder be­ing so far away, it was very easy for them to avoid con­tact and to plead ig­no­rance.”

Pic­ture: Louise Alling­ham

There are many risks in­volved in buy­ing pup­pies over the in­ter­net.

Pil­bara lo­cals are be­ing warned about po­ten­tial puppy scams.

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