Dog lovers are being urged not to be taken in by fake internet advertisements for pets that are offered for sale.
Magherafelt police are offering this advice after a woman living in Mid Ulster reported she had been the victim of a fraud.
Constable Paul Grant said the woman clicked on an auction site advertisement for a Pomeranian puppy. It stated that it was for sale in the Derry area.
“She rang the number listed and spoken to a man who claimed that his girlfriend, who was from Derry, was actually selling the dog. He provided her with details for her to transfer £300 via a Western Union account, which she did. This account appears to originate in Cameroon and the number she was ringing appears be from that region.
“He then contacted her to state that a courier firm would be delivering the dog, however they needed a special crate for the dog and a deposit of £200 was required for it. He informed her that he had already paid this money and that she needed to transfer the additional funds to him. He had assured her that the courier would refund upon delivery. At this stage she then suspected that it was a con and contacted police.”
While this type of scam has not been widely reported to police in Mid Ulster, it has occurred elsewhere.
Police advice is that anyone wishing to buy a pet should try to see it at the seller’s home and in its own environment in order to check its condition beforehand. You can also talk to a rehoming charity to see if they have any dog or puppy that would suit your lifestyle.