Many Australian citizens have dreamt about getting a French bulldog for the longest time. They found the website premiumbullies.com.au to find their new best friends. They would find countless cute pictures of puppies that they wanted to adopt and fell in love with them wanting to own a new furry best friend to keep them occupied during the coronavirus quarantine. However, what they didn’t know was that the website was actually a scam and that they spend thousands of dollars for a fake puppy.
Scammers Try to Sell Pictures Instead of the Puppy
The supposed seller on the website told Australian woman, Chelsea, that she couldn’t see her dog in person before the sale due to COVID-19 and that the dog would need to be shipped to her house after the purchase. They demanded $3,500 for the French bulldog, raising the listed price on the website so that they could ship it to her house.
Once she gave the scammer the money, they sent back more photos of the French bulldog. It turns out, she spent $3,500 on photos of the French bulldog instead of on an actual dog, leaving her scammed and heartbroken without her furry best friend.
Scammers Try to Get Personal Information Out of a Puppy Sale
Amanda Jones also fell for this scam, since she had lost her job due to the coronavirus and was looking for a furry companion to fill her lonely void of being home alone all the time. She paid $2,300 for a french bulldog to get shipped to her house since she couldn’t visit the puppy due to COVID-19.
The supposed breeder then asked for personal information, such as her driver’s license number and her Medicare card, claiming it was for the delivery driver. Once this information was asked for, Amanda immediately grew suspicious and called her bank.
Scammers Try to Demand Their Customers for More Money During Puppy Scam
Pensioners Sue and Henry Carol were also looking for a puppy to add to their home but didn’t want to pay the full 3500 for a caboodle they were looking at. One website was offering this caboodle for 1800 dollars, but they couldn’t visit him due to the coronavirus.
The puppy was then going to be shipped on a plane to where they were, but the scammer demanded more money to make this happen. Sue refused, and the scammer never spoke to them again, keeping their money with no puppy delivered to them.
Scammers Stole an Innocent Australian Man’s Identity
While Chelsea and Amanda didn’t get their dream dogs, the website also stole the identity of an innocent Australian man. People show up to his house all the time, demanding their stolen money back when he wasn’t the one scamming people. He wants people to know that he isn’t the scammer people assume he is, but instead he is also a victim just like them.
How Much Money Did the Scammers Steal During the Puppy Scam?
There were plenty more Australians that were scammed out of money. A total of $300,000 have been ripped off from Australians, thinking that they would get a puppy but instead, they were left to be heartbroken, alone, and disappointed.
What Did All These Scams Have in Common?
- All victims were scammed from the same website.
- All victims paid a lot of money to the website before seeing the dog in person.
- The scammer told all of them they couldn’t meet the puppy due to the coronavirus.
How Should You Avoid a Similar Puppy Scam?
- Make sure you are meeting the dog in person before giving the seller any money. If someone is telling you that you need to give them money before meeting the puppy and is trying to rush you, they are probably trying to scam you out of your money.
- Do your research on a sales website before purchasing anything on it. If a website has no reviews or no one has heard of it, it could be a fake website used to scam people out of money. Sometimes there are also reviews from people who have been scammed on that same website and will share their stories about it.
- Don’t give the seller money until you plan on taking the puppy home. If they are saying they want to keep the puppy for a little bit longer for any reason, don’t give them money because they can take your money without giving you your puppy in return.
- Get your puppy from trusted places, like your local animal shelter. Many puppies are found roaming the streets without a home and are given to animal shelters. You will definitely not be scammed out of your money if you look at an animal shelter first for what you want. Instead of paying thousands for a pure-bred animal, you could be paying less than $100-$200 for taking an animal home from the animal shelter.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
If you have a similar scam story to share or have been a victim of a romance scam, Social Catfish would love to hear from you! Email us at ShareMyStory@socialcatfish.com for a chance to be featured on our upcoming YouTube videos and blog.
You can also reverse search the person you think is scamming you out of your funds to see who they really are. All you need is a name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image to find out more information about the person you are talking to.