Don’t fall for puppy dog eyes

The public are warned of an increase in scam activity in the lead up to Christmas.

SAPOL’s Cybercrime Training and Prevention Section have seen a recent increase in reported scams where victims believe they are purchasing items of value from online marketplaces, but after making payment are not receiving the goods.

A recent example includes pedigree puppies advertised for sale and victims paying in excess of $6,000 sight unseen. The seller then ceased all contact after receiving the payment.

Police wish to remind the community to be mindful of the risks associated with online marketplaces and the anonymous nature of these sales.

Tips to keep yourself safe:

  • Be cautious if the advertised price of an item online looks unusually low. Scam ads quote goods at much lower prices than similar items on the same or other sites.
  • Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for up-front payment via money order or international wire transfer. Scammers will ask you to pay outside of the website’s official payment systems.
  • Beware, some scammers will send scam emails which appear to be from official payment companies requesting payment, others will direct you to fake payment websites which look genuine but have a different URL.
  • Be especially cautious when buying pets and pedigree puppies, smartphones and tablet devices, horses and saddles, motorbikes, cars and boats. These are common scam targets.

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