SMH; July 31, 2009
Animal lovers are being duped by internet scammers who promise to deliver cute puppies to their homes.
Prospective puppy owners have paid for the animals via money transfer on the internet, but the puppies do not exist, NSW Fair Trading minister Linda Burney says.
“The ads usually offer registered puppies and include health certificates and micro-chipping for a `too-good-to-be-true’ price,” she said in a statement today.
The seller’s purported location varies from overseas to an Australian address.
Ms Burney said it was impossible to import an animal from overseas into Australia in a few weeks, as quarantine procedures needed to be followed.
Her warning follows a Port Macquarie man’s ill-fated attempt to buy a bulldog puppy for his children online earlier this month.
Evan Ross was about to pay a $150 fee by money transfer when his suspicion was raised by the address of the organisation in Cameroon, Africa.
When Mr Ross attempted to call the company he found it did not exist.
The scammers reportedly told him his dog was waiting at Brisbane Airport, but when he called the airport there was no record of the animal.
Ms Burney said any arrangement asking for up-front payment by cash, money order or money transfer should be avoided.
“Don’t provide bank account details, credit card numbers or other personal details to businesses you do not completely trust,” she said.
“Always get professional advice when buying pets online so you know exactly what you are buying.”
If consumers are hit by a scam, they should call Fair Trading on 13 32 20.