Dogs Trust: Warning issued over puppy scam leaving you disappointed and out of pocket
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The new scam involves propective pet owners being duped into paying upfront for puppies they will never meet.
Scammers are fraudulently giving the address of the Dogs Trust Leeds Rehoming Centre as a pick-up location for puppies, according to a warning from Dogs Trust and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).
Katherine Hart, CTSI Lead Officer for Scams, said: “This is a particularly nasty scam, because the potential victims are being manipulated into forming an emotional attachment to a new dog.”
In one case, the scammers told the victim: “I will give you a baby you love and care and he will show you all the love you need from a pet.”
After paying a ‘rehoming fee’ and an additional ‘vet bill’, the victim arrived at the Dogs Trust Leeds Rehoming Centre only to be left heartbroken when she realised she had been tricked.
Ms Hart continued: “It’s also very cynical because it exploits the fantastic work that Dogs Trust do in order to get people to part with their money.”
Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppers were being advertised on Facebook. Prospective buyers were told that the seller was ‘strictly picky’ about the type of home the dogs would be sold to and then asked a series of questions designed to elicit personal information.
Once victims have paid upfront for a puppy, they arrive at the rehoming centre to collect their new pets, but are told they have been scammed.
Adam Clowes, Dogs Trust Operations Director, said: “When buying a puppy, do your research first, and if something doesn't feel right, don't do it. If an advert seems too good to be true, it probably is.
“Never pay for a puppy upfront, and always go to see the mother with the puppies, visiting multiple times before you commit. Ask to see vaccination records; any legitimate breeder would be happy for you to come and see the dog with its mother and give that kind of information. And no legitimate breeder would ever ask you to pay for an animal’s vets bills before you buy it."