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PUPPY SCAMS IN AUSTRALIA

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Over 300 Australians have reported $300,000 in losses to puppy scammers this year alone says the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The issue has left people like Donna Dickson who was a target of one such scam, more frightened about the prospect of purchases in the future.

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“I just keep my guard door locked all the time because I don’t know who’s going to come in.”

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Donna’s identity was stolen by a scammer who masked themselves as a prospective buyer but in return, was simply after Donna’s details. She now reports that she dreads people arriving on her doorstep, convinced that they will be there to pickup a puppy that she does not have.

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“People come from everywhere trying to get their dog, but you know, they’ve been scammed. They’ve always got my address now.”

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Sandra Trujillo felt the roles reverse but also fell for a puppy scam as she searched for dog to purchase for her mother through a breeder online. The page turned out to be a fake and took thousands of dollars from Sandra who believed the money was being used for deposits.

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“I felt stupid. I felt angry. I was scared.”

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Detective Superintendent Linda Howlett from NSW Police Financial Crimes Squad has warned the general public of the dangers surrounding puppy scammers.

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“It’s a significant problem. We’re in hard times at the moment. You think we’d all band together as Australians. But you’ve got people taking advantage of innocent people who are genuinely looking for companionship.”

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