Beware online dog scams
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.”
There are many risks involved in buying puppies over the internet.
Pilbara locals are being warned about potential puppy scams.