Baulkham Hills State Liberal MP David Elliott, has warned those seeking to buy a new puppy in Baulkham Hills to be wary of an increasing number of scams, which have cost Australians $300,000 so far this year.
Mr Elliott 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,” Mr Elliott 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 families in Baulkham Hills need.”
Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson said the safest option might be to hold off buying a pet until you’re 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 you’re ever in doubt, don’t commit to the sale.”
Victims of fraud should contact their financial institution and ACCC immediately to report the scam via the website.