Holiday season puppy scammers hounding Calgarians, say police
Calgarians are feeling the bite of scammers falsely promising holiday season puppies, say city police.
So far this year there have been 33 instances of purported puppy sellers being paid for pets that aren’t delivered, costing victims $33,000, they say.
“The largest increase in reports occurred in October and November this year, with eight and seven reports respectively,” said a statement from city police.That compares to a total of 10 such ripoffs in 2019, say police, which bilked prospective buyers of $6,100.Con artists prey on victims who are particularly vulnerable in the run-up to the Christmas season, said Const. Kris Anton of the Calgary Police Service economic crimes unit.“As we find ourselves in the holiday season and in the middle of a global pandemic, we know that pets can be a great source of companionship, especially for those living alone,” said Anton.“Our goal is to educate citizens about how to protect their personal information and hard-earned money, and how to legitimately purchase or adopt a pet.”
The scams are most frequently conducted online, with criminals asking for a payment or deposit up front from customers who never receive their puppy, said Anton.Buyers will sometimes be asked to pay extra for transportation, and communication with the seller drops off after some payment is made, say police.Those seeking a pet should do their research through consumer and breeding organizations that include inquiring about the price and possible medical costs.They should also insist on meeting sellers in person, say police, and be wary of anyone demanding advance payment.Along with caution, consumers should exercise patience and reject sellers who insist they must sell their dog quickly, say police.
via the sun
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