Beware online puppy scam

South Western Times

Australind dog lover Jessica Radisich has warned dog buyers to be careful of buying puppies online after losing $1800 in a dodgy deal.

Miss Radisich was targeted by cyber criminals in Western Africa who posed as real-life dog breeders in the eastern States.

Picture: Jessica Radisich shows a picture of the red-nose American staffordshire puppy that never arrived.

The scammers generated listings on classified websites stating rare pure-breed puppies were available to buy online.

Miss Radisich was after a red-nose American staffordshire puppy as there were no breeders in WA.

‘‘My sister had gotten a puppy on the internet and me and my family wanted to get one too,’’ she said.

‘‘I thought I had done all the research then I paid for the puppy to be sent over.’’

During the time of payment Miss Radisich was contacted frequently by the company stating the whereabouts of the animal.

It was not until the puppy apparently got to Perth and Miss Radisich called the transport company that she found out she had been scammed.

She ended up paying around $1800 for the pet, not including the cost of a food bowl, bedding and food.

Miss Radisich said hoped no one else would fall victim to the scam.

‘‘I just hope it doesn’t happen again to other buyers,’’ she said.

Miss Radisich said she would not be attempting to get another puppy over the internet in the future.

‘‘I’m not going down that road anytime soon,’’ she said.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said buyers of puppies were vulnerable as they had an emotional investment in the pet.

‘‘After the initial purchase price of the puppy is sent, usually by wire transfer, the scammers then demand extra payment for transport and delivery insurance,’’ she said.

Consumers are advised to check with the Canine Association of WA website www.dogswest.com which has a list of registered breeders.

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