Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP has today warned residents in our local community seeking to buy a new puppy to be wary of an increasing number of scams, which have cost Australians $300,000 so far this year.
Mr Ward said due to COVID-19, demand for puppies is much higher than usual, and puppy parents aren’t able to meet their new furry friend before committing to the sale due to the risk of spreading the virus.
“Even though puppies soon become members of the family they should still be looked at as an investment and prospective puppy parents have to consider the risks before purchasing one,” he said.
“Fair Trading NSW has reported an uptick in scammers posting fake classified ads on websites, in the paper or on social media platforms and asking for thousands of dollars for a non-existent puppy.
“Every dollar counts at the moment and being scammed out of thousands of dollars is the last thing local families need.
“Victims of fraud should contact their financial institution and ACCC immediately to report the scam via the website,” Mr Ward said.
The NSW Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson MP said that the safest option might be to hold off buying a pet until you are able to meet it in person.
“The best option will always be to adopt a pet you can meet prior to paying any money, but if that’s off the table due to COVID, you can minimise the risks by doing your research on the seller or breeder,” Mr Anderson said.
“If the price of the puppy is significantly higher or lower than the going rate, that’s a good indicator that something’s not right.
“And if you’re ever in doubt, don’t commit to the sale,” Minister Anderson concluded.