NSW Country Region British Bulldog Association INC

Buyer BewarePuppy Scammers

Beware of Puppy Scammers

There have recently been a lot of puppy scams taking place. A lot of families felt that this was the perfect time to get a pet and went on the search for that furever friend.

Puppy scammers play on people’s emotions, who have their hearts set on a particular breed. Once people see the cute puppy picture, of the puppy of your dreams, you tend to let your guard down.

Most scammers are using classified sites like Gumtree, websites, and social media such as Facebook and Instagram.

Usually the puppies are always interstate, so they cannot be viewed. Some very good scammers steal legitimate details of actual breeders, to confuse buyers if they google these real breeders.

Scammers will often ask you for a deposit to secure the puppy, then money to book the airfare, then money for the puppy, you would be surprised how many people pay the money up front, because these people are very good at saying that they cannot send the puppy without payment.

Scammers will even go as far as giving you a flight number, we know people have waited at the airport only to be confronted with the disappointment of no puppy on the flight. Once these people get your money it is very hard to contact the telephone numbers or the web site, or FB page disappears, and bank accounts are shut down. A lot of these scammers are based overseas.

Scammers use tricks, tricks like placing ads for pedigree dogs at a reduced price. That old saying comes into play here, if it seems too good to be true then it probably is.

Not all scammers take your money, and you don’t get a pup. Some scammers sell what we call a look alike puppy, claiming it is a purebred. This is where the puppy that you may buy may look like the breed being represented, but if given a DNA test they would be proven to be a cross breed. This applies to some of the rare or exotic coloured dogs, as these colours are foreign to the breed, and in some cases different breeds are used to introduce a colour not found in a standard of that breed.


This is big business. In 2018 the ACCC posted an alert about puppy scammers on their web site, with 584 reports and more than $310,000.00 scammed in that year alone. And that is just from the people who reported it.

Some useful tips to avoid being scammed:

  1. Insist on meeting the puppy before you buy , tell the breeder you will be travelling to their location and that you would like to make a time to meet.
  2. ID check. Ask for the Breeders ID details and check the details against the licensing bodies e.g.: Dogs NSW, Dogs Vic etc
  3. Ask to see Vet records & registration details
  4.  Call the breed association, they are often aware of scams and can point you in the direction of a legitimate breeder.
  5. Photo evidence, a lot of scammers use stock photos or photos found off the internet from actual breeder’s pages. It is easy to get an up to date photo of a puppy so if they do not send one be suspicious.
  6. Do not pay via money transfer that can't be traced, such as western union. Never pay OSKO instant bank to bank payment. If the seller wishes to be paid by direct deposit, ONLY do so via standard direct deposits between Australian Banks and only into a personal bank account where the name of the account matches up to the name of the seller. Some scammers set up Australian Bank Accounts with fake ID’s then have the victims pay into that account. The name never matches the seller as a rule.

Some Checks that you can do:

  1. Download the image of the puppy and check the file name. Files with a generic description or even a description that suggests that it’s not a recent photo should send alarm bells.

  1. Images should be copied into Google as already mentioned. If more than one website has a picture, consider that this may be a scam.
  2. Consider the web address if it’s a .com.au or just .com Look for signs that the website is legitimate.
  3. Run the website through a domain checker
  4. The text on the ad can also be copied and pasted into google to see if anyone else has used the same wording repeatedly. Scammers are usually lazy.
  5. Scammers that you find on Facebook keep changing the name of the account and the page as soon as they get reported.

DO NOT GIVE any ID details such as your medicare number, driver’s license, banking details or address for verification. If in doubt always give us a call as we can point you in the right direction of legitimate breeders.


Narelle Spencer 2020



Contact Details

Narelle Spencer
Bangor, NSW, Australia
Phone : 0401343783
Email : [email protected]