After a Trail woman was cheated of hundreds of dollars, the Trail RCMP detachment is echoing a province-wide police advisory warning of ongoing online puppy scams.
The Trail RCMP received a complaint the afternoon of April 24 wherein the caller reported a suspect who was falsely claiming to sell Maltese puppies through social media in Trail.
A 60-year-old Trail woman reported she had sent a $400 electronic transfer to the suspect; however, she did not receive her puppy as promised.
Trail RCMP remind the public that money sent electronically cannot be recovered due to the complexity of these kinds of scams.
The Trail police recommend only exchanging money with trusted and verified sources before engaging in any exchange of funds.
In the last year, with so many people working from home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it seemed like the perfect time to bring home a new puppy to lavish with love. The BC RCMP warn there was also a rise in scams targeting prospective pet owners capitalizing on the demand for puppies.
How the scam generally works is the supposed “seller” will post an ad online for a puppy. When the victim inquires about the dog, they are asked to pay a deposit. Once the money has been sent, the victim is given a fake address to pick up the dog and, at that point, the suspect stops responding.
Police report they are also seeing ads claiming that the puppies need to be re-homed immediately because an emergency has befallen the poster of the ad. When the victim inquires about the dog, they are told a heartbreaking story and that the puppy will need to be shipped to its new home. The victim is asked to pay for transportation costs, as well as any insurance, and vaccination costs, often bilking them for thousands of dollars.