Warning over internet puppies scam

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The Independent Online

Animal lovers were warned today after several people were conned into putting down deposits for puppies which never arrived, police said.

Fraudsters used the internet to scam buyers by asking for the cost of transportation of the dogs, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Police said.



In one case, a woman from Rendlesham saw an advert for a Siberian husky puppy online.

After she paid the cost of transport, she was asked to pay for half the cost of the shipping company. In total she sent off £350 to an address in Africa, the spokeswoman said.

The buyer was then told that the dog was stuck at a UK airport and that further cash would be needed for permits. She contacted the airport and was told there were no dogs awaiting shipment, police said.

The spokeswoman said there were several reports of similar incidents in recent weeks with a variety of different dogs, usually puppies, including King Charles spaniels, pugs and English bulldogs, being used to entice buyers.

"Police are urging anyone considering buying a dog off the internet to be cautious and not to send money if there are any doubts the seller may not be genuine," she said.

"In many of these cases the buyers have transferred money to banks or addresses in Africa - despite the seller often giving a story that they are UK based."