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Online puppy scam warning

File photo/SunLive.

At Christmas time, we sometimes think we can get good deals through online traders and it’s not always the case.

Police have noticed an increase of people selling puppies which don’t exist, says Constable Kylee Coubrough.

Some online trading sites and fake websites have been set up to sell puppies to buyers, sight-unseen.

They can be sought-after and popular breeds such as English bulldogs, husky’s, Staffordshire bull terriers to Maltese and even toy poodles.

The public need to be careful not to fall into this trap, says Kylee.

"Sellers claim these puppies are fully vaccinated and potty trained, and a fake seller is likely not to let you view the puppy before purchase and claim they have their own delivery service.

"These sellers are also making ‘change of ownership’ documents for each purchased puppy, which is not a thing in New Zealand.

"Neither is a breeder registering the puppy before you get it… all these things are red flags.

"People need to be doing some extensive research on puppy sellers before paying money to anyone."

Police recommend the following safety tips if you’re considering buying a puppy online

  •   •  Always buy from a reputable breeder or authentic seller if you can.

  •   •  Ask to see the puppy first and meet in a public place if you are unable to go to their property.

  •   •  Make sure a friend or family member is aware of the transaction details before you go.

  •   •  Try to avoid making a transaction before meeting someone first and never deposit money into a person’s account without viewing the puppy first

  •   •  Trust your instincts, if it sounds like a scam, and it’s too good to be true it probably is.

  •   •  Remember, if something illegal is happening now, call 111.

  •   •  If it’s already happened, you can provide information via the Police non-emergency number 105.

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