13,000 amateur pet detectives expose tricks of the scammer’s trade
The criminal tricks hiding up scammers’ sleeves are being exposed as authorities and everyday Aussies crack down on fake animal breeders.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard told Clinton Maynard the $2.5 million known to be lost to scam breeders is “just about the tip of the iceberg”.
“Only about 13 per cent of people who lose money to a scam tell us … so the numbers are huge.”
While bird, cat and even fish breeder scams are all circulating, puppies are “the big money makers”.
By reverse image searching a supposed breeder’s puppy photos, would-be buyers can check if the listing is genuine, she advised.
Press PLAY below to hear Scamwatch’s tips to avoid puppy scams
Victim Sandy Trujilo has turned her experience into an opportunity to spare others the same fate.
She told Clinton she was scammed out of $1600 when attempting to purchase her sick mother an assistance dog.
“I’m actually a vet nurse, worked with animals my whole life, and … thought I knew everything.”
Unable to gain support from authorities, she formed Puppy Scam Awareness, a now 13,000-strong Facebook group of amateur pet scam detectives.
“We’ve become quite the expert at spotting scams out, so … we try and educate the public to look out for certain things.”
Press PLAY below to hear the warning signs of a puppy scam