Girl dev­as­tated by puppy scam

Weekend Courier - - News - Gabrielle Jef­fery

A VIC­TIM of a Rock­ing­ham woman’s puppy scam has spo­ken out about the im­pact it had on her eight-year-old daugh­ter.

Tam­ica Perkins’ daugh­ter, Paige, wanted noth­ing more than a pug puppy.

“Paige wanted to buy a pug – we said to her a dog is a big com­mit­ment so if she re­ally wanted a pug, she had to show us she could com­mit,” she said.

“She set about bak­ing dog treats to sell to raise the money; she worked so hard ev­ery day and saved ev­ery cent. We were happy she showed that she was com­mit­ted so we started look­ing for a pug.”

They came across an ad for a fe­male pug puppy on Gumtree.

“We con­tacted the lady, who I spoke with for a good 30 min­utes on the phone as she was in WA and we are in Tas­ma­nia,” she said.

“She ex­plained that she had to give up the dog due to her son’s al­ler­gies, and that she had been scammed in the past so she asked for a de­posit. I was sat­is­fied with what she told me as every­thing ap­peared le­git­i­mate and ar­range­ments were made for the dog to be flown to us the next week on a Wed­nes­day.”

A few days later, Mrs Perkins con­tacted the seller to con­firm flight de­tails.

“My texts went unan­swered – she ceased all con­tact,” Mrs Perkins said.

“I rang the freight com­pany as she gave us those de­tails and they said a woman by the seller’s name had asked for a quote but it was for a dif­fer­ent breed of dog and no book­ing had been made.

“We went im­me­di­ately to our lo­cal po­lice who told us to fill in an ACORN (Aus­tralian Cy­ber­crime On­line Re­port­ing Net­work) re­port.”

Mrs Perkins said the hard­est part was hav­ing to tell Paige.

“When the Wed­nes­day came round we had to have that dis­cus­sion with Paige. She had been so ex­cited and told all of her friends at school,” she said.

“She had even cleaned the house and given the dog a name – ‘Milly’. She was ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated. It was a hard lesson for Paige to learn – that not ev­ery­one is hon­est – and hard for us to see our child lose her faith and trust.”

Not want­ing another fam­ily to go through that trauma, Mrs Perkins posted a warn­ing to the Bondi Vet’s Face­book page.

“The main aim of tak­ing to so­cial me­dia was to make peo­ple aware of this per­son and that it can hap­pen to any­one,” she said.

“Through that post a man from Queens­land con­tacted me; turns out she had sold him the same pug on the same day.”

Now-con­victed Estelle Mak­wana has been given time to ar­range to pay for fines, but Mrs Perkins is not sure if she will get her $500 de­posit back.

Paige Perkins was dev­as­tated by the puppy scam.

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