Instead of getting a Maltese puppy through an online sale, a Trail woman was scammed of $400 and sadly, received no puppy. Photo: Noelle on Unsplash

Instead of getting a Maltese puppy through an online sale, a Trail woman was scammed of $400 and sadly, received no puppy. Photo: Noelle on Unsplash

Trail woman bilked of $400 in puppy scam

RCMP advise the pandemic has increased the number of puppy scams being perpetrated

After a Trail woman was cheated of hundreds of dollars, the Trail RCMP detachment is echoing a province-wide police advisory warning of ongoing online puppy scams.

The Trail RCMP received a complaint the afternoon of April 24 wherein the caller reported a suspect who was falsely claiming to sell Maltese puppies through social media in Trail.

A 60-year-old Trail woman reported she had sent a $400 electronic transfer to the suspect; however, she did not receive her puppy as promised.

Trail RCMP remind the public that money sent electronically cannot be recovered due to the complexity of these kinds of scams.

The Trail police recommend only exchanging money with trusted and verified sources before engaging in any exchange of funds.

More information about how to avoid being scammed can be obtained from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

READ MORE: Puppy scams skyrocket amid pandemic

READ MORE: Fraudsters scam $3M in puppy scams

In the last year, with so many people working from home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it seemed like the perfect time to bring home a new puppy to lavish with love. The BC RCMP warn there was also a rise in scams targeting prospective pet owners capitalizing on the demand for puppies.

How the scam generally works is the supposed “seller” will post an ad online for a puppy. When the victim inquires about the dog, they are asked to pay a deposit. Once the money has been sent, the victim is given a fake address to pick up the dog and, at that point, the suspect stops responding.

Police report they are also seeing ads claiming that the puppies need to be re-homed immediately because an emergency has befallen the poster of the ad. When the victim inquires about the dog, they are told a heartbreaking story and that the puppy will need to be shipped to its new home. The victim is asked to pay for transportation costs, as well as any insurance, and vaccination costs, often bilking them for thousands of dollars.

RCMP urge online shoppers and puppy lovers to educate themselves and seriously consider adopting animals in person. Do your research on the breeders to ensure they are reputable. Do not pay by sending cash, money transfers, or money orders.

Tips to help you avoid scammers:

– If you are in the market for a pet, consider adopting one from a reputable rescue organization or contacting a registered breeder with the Canadian Kennel Club, and whenever possible going to meet the breeder and puppies.

– If the person is claiming to be a breeder, ask for the breeder registration information and verify the information.

– If someone is selling a purebred dog at a price that’s too good to be true, it is likely a scam.

– If an ad says the dog is being given away for free but then asks you to pay for travel and other additional costs, it is likely a scam.

– If the person is selling an animal, ask for the pet’s veterinarian clinic and call to confirm that the pet is a patient there.

– Ask for the seller’s phone number. Call and ask specific questions about what the person is selling. If they don’t give a phone number, it could be a sign of a scam.

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