Puppy lovers beware -- if you’re having a look for a new pooch online, be careful of falling into the trap of the online puppy scam.
A man and woman from South Australia have been charged with 34 counts of money laundering after they received more than $30,000 from online scams.
In the scams they allegedly offered puppies and kittens up for sale online and asked for money to be forwarded to them.
Police say they received the money but for the prospective buyer, their new pet never came.
Two people charged with 34 counts of money laundering following a puppy scam https://t.co/dPKJssJ1NF— SA Police News (@SAPoliceNews) December 10, 2015
The 49-year-old woman and 47-year-old man, both from Para Vista in northern Adelaide, were bailed to appear in court in February next year.
Police have warned people to be careful of online scams. A common method scammers use is advertising fake classifieds online, requesting money orders or deposits in advance, then disappearing with the money.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch website has published several warnings about so-called “puppy scams”, including a 2013 alert which said the scam was on the rise.
“This scam typically involves ads for non-existent puppies being placed in newspapers and online classifieds at suspiciously low prices,” the release from Scamwatch said.
“The ‘seller’ provides interested buyers with pictures of an adorable puppy and then tricks them into paying fees for transport, customs or medical costs before the dog can be delivered. Once the payment is made, the puppy and money vanish without a trace.”
You can report a scam to the ACCC via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch or by calling 1300 795 995.