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Dog Scams. Info for Australians. Beware of Scams. Contact Scamwatch.gov.au

BEWARE free adverts for PUPPIES, YORKIES, SIBERIAN HUSKY, SCHNAUZER, BEAGLES etc. If they just ask for the freight cost from Cameroon - it is a scam.

In Australia contact scamwatch.gov.au to report and see info about puppy scams OR another great scam reporting resource for West Australians - Scamnet

 

Updated January 2020

We were contacted by a local Melbourne newspaper years ago asking for assistance identifying dog scams. There are many unmonitored sites out there with adverts for free dogs or very cheap dogs. These scammers use cut pictures from the internet and try and get money out of you for vet bills, shipping, dog crates, food, blankets etc etc. DON'T DO IT! See our info below compiled over the last 10 years.

If it looks or smells like a scam - it is!

If you would like a dof for your family - go to a registered breeder OR a local animal shelter or RSPCA. These lost or surrendered dogs are vet checked, micro chipped and desexed. They are healthy and you can make them happy by giving them a new home.

Please read on...

OZ DOGGY EDITOR.

 

Our tips and advice - for over 7 years - helping you bust the scammers

1. Bad English. Many of these scammers come from outside Australia. They have really bad English. Bad English? Sounds a bit weird. Have a weird name? Warning bell #1. UPDATE: 2014. Some unsuspecting people are also used by the scammers. They get 'work from home'jobs where they bank cheques or take online deposits - for a small fee. But the scammers are using them to get your money into a local bank account - then they also take it from these 'front'people!

2. Money is a priority. Oz Doggy recommends you NEVER send money by wire transfer (eBay has helpful tips on this also) never give change from a cheque that has not cleared. If they seem very interested in receiving money and a deposit. Warning bell #2

3. Photos in an email. Scammers may try and send a photo of very cute dogs that are just what you are after. Oz Doggy recommends you NEVER buy a dog on the basis of a photo. Often these photos have been lifted direct from elsewhere on the internet and then sent to you.

4. Like all business transactions, use common sense. Talk with the seller on the phone. They don't want to call you? Can't use the phone? Ask for their physical address and website and how you can verify where they are in Australia. Registered Breeders who are registered within their state and with relevant canine councils or breeder associations will offer both safety and reliability of a healthy animal and after sales service.

5. Why on earth buy a dog from Cameroon or Africa or anywhere similar oversea's? Does this seem like a good idea? Does this seem to have potential for being ripped off?

6. Emails will often arrive at strange hours, like 2am or 5am. Not always...but often these scammers are working from outside Australia.

So be careful out there, use your common sense and if any of the warning bells are triggered as above, check, check and double check, remember, you are buying a dog that lives and breathes and feels and will be a friend to yourself and your family. You should be willing to exercise care when making an important and in some cases, costly purchase. 

The sad thing about scams is that it often happens quietly at home, starts with a few dollars for freight of a free puppy, then it's insurance and vaccinations, then its trouble at customs....these guys lie and cheat you until you're broke. Don't let it happen to you.

See all our updates below - which include multiple examples of scammer emails

Paul @ Oz Doggy

 

EXAMPLE OF A SCAMMER ADVERT

START:

About our FREE dog

Tiny,Tiny,Tiny pocket Maltese Puppies.Champion bloodline. registered.Straight hair with cutest round eyes.Super Cute. Have very very short legs and bodies.They have the Most Adorable Teddy bear faces.Love snuggles.Sweet personality, love kisses,get along with kids. Both parents on site and Aukc registered. dad 2,8 lbs, mom 3 lbs. expecting weight from 2 lbs to 3 lbs.( fully grown). Each pup comes vet checked,vaccinated, microchipped and dewclaws removed. For Pictures, email: sheilableasel@gmail.com

Price, Reward or Delivery costs info here

500

END

Another example:

OZ DOGGY EDITOR NOTE: Below is a current scam reply. If you receive anything that looks or sounds like this - with cute pictures attached - that seems too good to be true - it is a scam. END NOTE.

SCAM REPLY BELOW:

Hello thanks for your mail.let me tell you about our puppy Barry . I know you will love this puppy . Barry is 4 months old now and ANKC registered and is currently on all shots,when ever i call Barry up He will run up to me like a three year old kid.Barry has been raised in our home with lots of love and care, and he is well socialized with a wonderful temperament,Barry is vet checked and up to date on all shots and he is very fine among kids and other pets like dogs,cats.birds etc,he will make a very fine house pet.  Barry is just too adorable.This little puppy love to run and play,He likes to stop and smell flowers.He is a pleasure to have around,He is very friendly,playful and has a very good behavior and very good temperament.This puppy is eager to learn, fearless, friendly, and sociable. his high energy level may overwhelm new owners who are not prepared for it.  He is not prone to excessive barking, but his tendency to bark at suspicious activity makes him excellent watchdogs.He love's to cuddle, but he is not overly demanding of attention..  I am giving Barry out for free adoption because my landlord does not permit me to keep the puppy and  I have a new job that takes much of my time,so i want to send Barry to any loving and caring home.that he will be spoiled rotten with love.Barry will bring so much love and joy to your family,you will get just the best from this puppy.He needs attention,lots of love and affection,lots of kisses and hugs,sure you will give all this to Barry ? Health wise his health is guarantee as he had proper veterinary check ups.worming and he took the following vitamins...3V-Caps for development of Skin and Coat,NEW Glycol-Flex Stage 1 for Development of Joints. 

Before you adopt Barry i will like to  know the following from you

1-Have you been around dogs or is your first experience?

2-Are you a pet lover or simply a fan ?

3- Do you have children because this puppy has high affection for children?

4-we will like you to describe your home environment?

5-where are you located ?  I am asking all this questions simply for the well being of the bundle of beauty you are about to bring into your home. I am currently in Hobart,Tasmania and i will be shipping the dog over to you.

Thanks and waiting. Best Regards

======END=====

Editors note: This reply above was a reply from for a recent scam advert. If you ever enquire about a dog - and receive an email like that above - it is a scam.

 

Another example:

This is a scam:

Schnauzer Free to good home, Melbourne (VIC) A very affectionate 4 months old male needs a new home.He has NOT been desexed, energetic and likes to play, my work commitments does not allow me to look after him and she needs someone to take care of him. Posted: 10/2010 

Editors note: Read again if you can not see. This slipped past me thie first time - but there are a number of clues in the message above that this is a scam. Removed by Oz Doggy Editor Oct, 2010.

 

UPDATE: SEPT 19, 2010

There are currently some adverts popping up for YORKIES, HUSKY PUPPIES, TEACUP, BEAGLES, CHIHUAHUA puppies etc.

You MUST USE YOUR COMMON SENSE with any adverts that LOOK like scams.

If you email any and they ask for MONEY for shipping, or talk about being transferred to Africa etc - IT'S A SCAM. We try and delete as quick and as fast as we can.

Most local Australian adverts are easily to identify with the information in them. With that in mind, look at the standard of English punctuation and words used. If in doubt, ask a friend what they think about the notice.

Paul @ Oz Doggy

At all times beware. If the picture looks too cute, if the offer is too cheap, if your instincts say there is something fishy going on, then don't buy. Do your homework, always check details!

Report scams in Australia to http://www.scamwatch.gov.au This is a good resource about internet scams and also a place to make reports of current scammers.

UPDATE DEC 2009:

This is an email (and bulldog pictures) we received from AUSSIE LAND on Dec 10, 2009. If you ever receive emails that look like this - they are scammers. You must look at the language of these scammers and see that they are template replies - replies to simply get money from you and hook your interest on a cheap or free dog.

 

The next step in replying to an email as below - is you will be asked for freight or insurance costs. (See the new reply below from this scammer on Dec 11) You can wave good bye to any money you send. Paul @ Oz Doggy.

Starts:

Hello thanks for your mail.let me tell you about my puppy Jack.I know you will love this puppy.Jack is 5 months old now and ANKC registered and is  currently on all shots,when ever i call Jack up He  will run up to me like a three year old kid.Jack  has been raised in our home with lots of love and care, and he is well socialized with a wonderful temperament,Jack  is vet checked and up to date on all  shots and is very fine among kids and other pets like dogs,cats.birds etc,he will make a very fine house pet.

Jack is just too adorable.This little puppy love to run and play,He likes to stop and smell flowers.He is a pleasure to have around,He is  very friendly,playful and has a very good behavior and very good temperament.This puppy is eager to learn, fearless, friendly, and sociable. his high energy level may overwhelm new owners who are not prepared for it.

My puppy is not prone to excessive barking, but his tendency to bark at suspicious activity makes him excellent watchdogs.He love's to cuddle, but he is not overly demanding of attention..

   I am giving Jack  out for adoption because their mum was knock down by a car and i don't have much time to spend with him now.I am having a new occupation that takes much of my time,so i want to send Jack  to any loving and caring home.that he  will be spoiled rotten with love.Jack will bring so much love and joy to your family,you will get just the best from this puppy.My puppy needs attention,lots of love and affection,lots of kisses and hugs,sure you will give all this to Jack ? Health wise his health is guarantee as he  had proper veterinary check ups.worming and he took the following vitamins...3V-Caps for development of Skin and Coat,NEW Glycol-Flex Stage 1 for Development of Joints.

Before you adopt Jack i will like to know the following from you

1-Have you been around dogs or is your first experience?

2-Are you a pet lover or simply a fan ?

3- Do you have children because this puppy has high affection for children?

4-we will like you to describe your home environment?

5-where are you located ?

  I am asking all this questions simply for the well being of the bundle of beauty you are about to bring into your home.

Thanks and waiting. Best Regard

and after I sent an email saying how lovely jack was and would there be any costs involved - bang - here it is - send $250 to the (fake) shipping company.

Hello thanks for your mail.I am located in Tasmania.jack is  micro chipped,potty trained and house broken,he eats 3 times daily so you have to feed him in that order.Also he will come with a hand book that is going to direct you on feeding.He eat most food stuffs,he will come with some of his stuffs. He do not bark much.He is calm and behaves well.You will need to pay for the shipping ,the shipping  will cost $250,this puppy will be shipped with the following: 1 A 200 series travel kennel (20" L x 15" Wx10" H),Airline approved..... 2.Health certificate and avid micro-chip form... 3.Updated and current shot and worming records. For I to set up the Shipping and delivery arrangements at the Transportation agency They will need your FULL NAMES.PHONE NUMBER,HOME ADDRESS AND CLOSEST AIRPORT... Please get back with this details so that we can proceed with this transaction The details i need from you to proceed with the Shipping are.. Your full names................. Full house address.............. phone number................... Airport..............................    So this is how the transaction will proceed,when you get back with you shipping information.I will take the puppy to the shipping company alongside his documents and register him for the next available flight to your location . When they are through with everything,they will contact you through email or phone, on how you are going to make the payment and when the puppy will be shipped and delivered to your house .That means you will be paying the $250 directly to the shipping and not to me . The shipping company provide home delivery,that means  the puppy can be shipped to your airport and later delivered to your house . So get back with this details let us proceed with the shipping on immediately . I waiting for you reply thanks .

End Dec 11 update

START DEC 1, 2009 Update: Beware any FTGH advert that you reply to - and they ask for insurance and money for shipping the dog. OR the dog is not located where the advert says it is. We always suggest local FTGH adverts - so you can pick up the dog. Most FTGH scams lately - involve payments being made by people for freight and insurance costs - for non existent dogs.

June 2008 update: Report scams in Australia to http://www.scamwatch.gov.au This is a good resource about internet scams and also a place to make reports of current scammers.

UPDATE MAY 3, 2008 - THANK YOU FOR THIS SUMMARY KRISTY

I recently responded to an advertisement on simpletrade.com to a couple who wanted to rehome a female british bulldog puppy.

Their initial advertisement claimed they lived in Narre Warren, Victoria, however when i said i lived locally they said they lived in W.A.

 Our first email contact stipulated the rehoming of Daisy, the bulldog, would be $300, then on the second email it escalated to $400.

Thinking it was still too good to be true and that a suposedly loving family would hate to have to give up their dog but would still fly it interstate to live with a family they had never spoken to, i decided to do some research.

Of the three photos of the dog they sent me, which they claimed to be the mother, father and Daisy herself, (which they later said was just the mother and daisy) i found a picture on the internet of a dog that looked remarkably like Daisy (for example, the dog was in an identical background of a blue and white sheet, in the fore ground was a pink and green blanket and both dogs were wearing a winnie the pooh costume). The picture was of a male bulldog, being sold out of Victoria in 2007. 

When i questioned them about the photo, the sellers became very defensive but still wanted to go through with the sale.

The couple claim to be researching cancer in W.A. They openly express their christianity and before they send the dog they want a money order to be sent to Cameroon.

If their is anyway i can help end this sought of dishonesty and fraud, i would be more than willing.

UPDATE 26 JAN 2008: 

This email from Claire in WA. She writes:

Hello, I replied to an ad for a British Bulldog puppy for adoption because the family was going away. After getting me to answer some questions (how often do i work, where would the dog be whilke at work etc) they told me the dog was mine, and that they wold arrange shipment to perth. I asked for bank details and i was told to send payment to an Orphanage in Cameroon. Thinking this was suss I googled orphanages in cameroon and found it did not exist. They ignored my request for pricing. They got my address so they could put it on the recipient sheet for the dog at the airport and my mobile number. I will be changing my mobile number in a few days. As soon as they said to transfer money to Cameroon i knew something was up.

---END---

DO NOT SEND MONEY VIA WESTERN UNION FOR ANY DOG PURCHASE IN AUSTRALIA.

UPDATE 1 OCT 2007: Scammers are using local addresses for you to send a cheque when selling a dog. If they ask you to send a cheque to an address that is not the same as their name - or not the same location as they are - SCAM. This is where the local person is also being scammed, used as a front for cheque fraud. The people banking cheques have fallen for email 'work at home scams and might not know they are depositing your cheque for a fraudster overseas.

UPDATE 2 OCT 2007 : Any emails offering dogs that mention AKC registered is a scam. This means American Kennel Club registration and shows that the sender has no idea you are in Australia, they are simply trying to scam money from you. Vice versa in USA if they mention Australian kennel Club. SCAM- Is the dog registration in your country??

This next scam report from USA received April 07. We receive a number of reports of scammers as they hit sites around the world. This next email is a very well explained version of events and we encourage you to read it, to be alert about tactics of scammers:

To All Whom Encountered The Same As Me;

 

I went onto www.theflyer.com looking for a Yorkshire Terrier puppy, and came across one that I wanted more information on. I sent an email and received a response from 'Pastor Augusta Welch' stating she was in Nigeria on a business trip and was not in her home state. But she offered to ship the puppy to me. I sensed suspicion when 'Pastor Augusta Welch' called the puppy 'Sophie' but in her ad the puppies name was 'Hannah'. When I asked her about it she said, 'Oh yes, my puppies name is Hannah, so sorry.' Her typing and literature was very first gradish.

 

I did a reverse look up on the number she provided and called it. It was a Caucasian family who spoke very good English that assured me there was no Yorkie for sale at that number. I told 'Pastor Augusta Welch' that I was not interested in having a puppy shipped to me. She assured me I would get the puppy. I ignored her emails and she still writes them to me asking me to send her money via Western Union. I came across another 'scam' today when a lady whom also can't type proper english, asking me to transfer her money via Western union as she was not in California like her ad stated, because she was getting ready to move there in the summer and that her puppy would ship to me from Cameroon.

 

I looked Cameroon up to see exactly where it was and when it came up Africa, I linked the two together. I ignored all emails but was logged into my Yahoo Messenger and got a message from the same lady! I denied any messages from her and I am worried about how she found me. Be careful when having a puppy shipped. There are plenty of breeders in the state where you live, why not pick your little addition up?

 

More buy and sell scam alert messages below:

BUY Scam alert message No. 1 begins:

Hi, I think I have recently almost been a victom of a doggy scam. I just thought I should let you know.  I put a notice on your board about a week ago looking for a Yorkshire Terrior or Chihuahua pup.  In only a couple of hours a got an email from HIDDEN saying that she had one, he is $500 and can get to me from NZ in a just a few hours. She told me that a Missionary gave her the pup to sell.  I got two photo's from her, which didn't really look like to same dog. Then I asked for her phone number so I could speak to her, she said that her phones were out of serivce for the next week and that was impossible.  I then asked her to send me some paperwork on the puppy, she declined and told me that the envelope with the papers in it was sealed and she didn't want to open it until she knew the puppy was sold.  Strange.

No contact only through email. This happened over a few days, I only recieved emails from her at 2am and 4am in the morning, and when she asked for money,  the address to send it to was in Cameroon, yet she claimed to be in Wellington, NZ. It all became very suss.  I have and address in NZ for her and an address in Cameroon she gave also if I can be of any more help. I have saved all the emails as well. I felt so disappointed by this.  That someone would scam on a little puppy.

OZ DOGGY ADVICE: DON'T BUY!

TIPS TO IDENTIFY SCAMMERS:

NOTE: Oz Doggy does not promote outside Australia but cannot stop anyone in the world visiting Oz Doggy.

1. Bad English. Most of these scammers come from outside Australia. They have really bad English. Bad English? Sounds a bit weird. Have a weird name? Warning bell #1.

2. Money is a priority. NEVER send money by wire transfer (eBay has helpful tips on this also) never give change from a cheque that has not cleared. If they seem very interested in receiving money and a deposit. Warning bell #2

3. Photos in an email. Scammers may try and send a photo of very cute dogs that are just what you are after. NEVER buy a dog on the basis of a photo. Often these photos have been lifted direct from elsewhere on the internet and then sent to you.

4. Like all business transactions, use common sense. Talk with the seller on the phone. They don't want to call you? Can't use the phone? Ask for their physical address and website and how you can verify where they are in Australia. Registered Breeders who are registered within their state and with relevant canine councils or breeder associations will offer both safety and reliability of a healthy animal and after sales service.

5. Why on earth buy a dog from Cameroon or Africa or anywhere similar oversea's? Does this seem like a good idea? Does this seem to have potential for being ripped off?

6. Emails will often arrive at strange hours, like 2am or 5am. Not always...but often these scammers are working from outside Australia.

So be careful out there, use your common sense and if any of the warning bells are triggered as above, check, check and double check, remember, you are buying a dog that lives and breathes and feels and will be a friend to yourself and your family. You should be willing to exercise care when making an important and in some cases, costly purchase.

Paul @ Oz Doggy

SELL Scam alert message No. 2 begins:

Hello,

I need you to be aware of a money fraud scam that is going on. These people are scamming unaware puppy sellers through this web page and other free advertisement websites.

This is ony a fairly new scam, and the Federal Police are aware of this, but are unable to do much. I am currently caught up in this scam right now.

This is how these people work:

Once they have sent the cheque, they will then claim that someone in their family is very sick and that they need the remaining funds immediately. People need to be aware that these people are using Fraudulant cheques!!

These people are very smooth operaters and are very convincing. They will often use religion such as Christianity to lure people in and try to get information from you so that they will say they have something in common with you.

These people are using a yahoo email address.

They often use address with a name and a number in it. The yahoo does not have an "au" behind it.

Do not trust these people they are not interested in the puppies. If they can pull this scam off with someone, the puppy with either be killed or left at the airports or dumped.

Once they have lured you in, they will constantly ask where you would like the cheque sent, but rarely ever do they ask about the puppies invovled. They also insist you send them a photo of yourself and to give out your address details. Once they've lured someone in, they will give all false home address details, shipping details and false names.

These people claim to be living overseas (in my case, Holland & Canada) But they are actually working out of Victoria.

This is extremely important to let people know about this, as it is becoming more prevelant.

Thank you for your time. Katherine.

 

Dog Details

Oz Doggy ID:3492

Location

Contact:Phone Scamwatch if you have been scammed
Phone:or 1300 302 502
Suburb:Oz Doggy Helpdesk
State:Australia



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