March 17, 2022
Elise Archer, Minister Delegate for Occupational Safety and Consumer Affairs
Tasmanians looking for a new furry friend are encouraged to beware of puppy and pet scammers and to spot the warning signs to avoid being left out.
According to data from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Australians lost over $2.5 million to pet scams in 2021.
Scammers use a wide range of digital platforms to target victims, including fake websites, social networks, e-commerce sites, and instant messaging apps.
Typically, scammers advertise wanted breeds of puppies or other pets and make up reasons why you can’t meet the animal in person, including that it’s in another state.
Scammers often ask for a security deposit or payment for freight charges and go to great lengths to appear legit.
Like any other scammer, they use advanced techniques to hide their tracks and move the money around so that it is difficult for banks or authorities to track them down.
People can take a number of steps to protect themselves from scammers, including adopting or buying a pet from a breeder you can meet in person and seek advice and recommendations from a reputable breed association, to a local veterinarian or pet store.
And remember – never transfer money or share your bank account details with anyone who is not a trusted breeder or seller.
If someone has been scammed, they should contact their bank or financial institution as soon as possible and alert the ACCC by visiting: http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/report-a-scam.
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