A man has been charged over an alleged puppy scam in the state’s south.
In February 2020, detectives from Murray River Police District commenced an investigation, following reports of fraudulent online advertisements for puppies.
Police have been told that several people across Australia – including residents in Victoria, South Australia and NSW – sent money online after seeing advertisements for Cavoodle, Toy Poodle, Dachshund and Corgi puppies posted on online trading websites.
After sending through the money, the puppy never arrived, and the alleged breeder cut contact with them.
Following extensive inquiries, a 26-year-old man was arrested at Albury Police Station shortly after 6pm yesterday (Wednesday 17 March 2021).
He was charged with nine counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage etc by deception.
Police will allege the man fraudulently obtained more than $16,000 as a result of the scam.
He was granted strict conditional bail to appear in Albury Local Court on Monday 12 April 2021.
Murray River Police District Crime Manager, Detective Chief Inspector Mick Stoltenberg, warned people to be cautious when making purchases online.
“We have seen a rise in online scams in recent times, with scammers taking advantage of the recent pandemic as victims are less likely to travel to see the item they wish to purchase in person,” Det Ch Insp Stoltenberg said.
“If you think you may have been scammed, contact your bank or financial institution as soon as possible.
“Always remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Safety advice for those wanting to purchase a puppy online:
- If the advertised price of a pedigree puppy looks too good to be true, it probably is.
- Make arrangements to meet the puppy in person if possible.
- Avoid any arrangement with a stranger that asks for upfront payment via money order or wire transfer.
- If you are in doubt, seek advice from someone in the industry such as a reputable breeders association, vet or local pet shop.
Anyone with information about fraudulent activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.