Puppy Scam - Lost $1500

Hey guys and gals,

So, long story short: I tried to buy a puppy online and was scammed out of $1500.

My bank (ING) just sent me a text yesterday to say that they were unsuccessful in trying to recall the money I bank transferred to the "breeders".

It turns out that this was a sophisticated scam where they had stolen the identity of a woman and made it seem like I was dealing with her.

I reported it to the local police (Victoria Police) which was a waste of time because they just said to report it to cyber.gov.au.

Cyber.gov.au sent me an email to say that NSW Police are investigating the matter.

Anyway, I want to know if any of you guys/gals have any ideas for how I can get my $1500 back?

Kind Regards,



  • Scams are everywhere unfortunately.
    Here is one that is still active on facebook marketplace; a modern caravan on "sale" for $9000 - it's worth about $40000. My wife sent it to me, quite excited - but searched for the email address listed in one of the photos and lo & behold one of the links os to an article about online scams.. if it's too good to be true..


    Banks are your best option to try and claw back the funds - see if they have a financial crimes compensation process; usually on credit cards I believe.

  • Very common scam in Australia.

    ABC News

    Man charged

  • +2

    I’ve never had to report anything as stolen, I’m not sure of the procedure, but if the police at the station you visited did not make a report, what’s to stop you from going to a different station? Or several stations? From what I’ve read on other forums, different stations have different levels of ‘service’, even varies officer to officer. (Not negging the police, maybe different stations are busier than others, have less time for fraud type crimes?)

    Anyway, if it were me, I would visit at least another police station if possible and try again to make a report. If I can get some paper work, that allegedly makes it easier to chase up with the bank, if not I would seriously consider going to the media. ABC have links on their site for story ideas.

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this, it’s doubly gut wrenching for you because 1) they stole your money 2) you didn’t get the friend you thought you would and have been looking forward to for so long. Don’t beat yourself up about it, it could’ve happened to any one of us, no matter how diligent.

    • You raise some valid points however at the end of the day, making a report isn't going to get the money back.

  • +1

    Breeders are sex traffickers and pimps

    Pets are commodities which turn into bribed companions

  • +1

    One more reason to adopt, I suppose

  • -3

    Looks like the solutions solved, you got scammed, such a great day.

    • +1

      Aren’t you just the nicest..
      I hope punching someone down like this, finally makes you somewhat good about yourself. 👍🏻

  • +2

    Plenty of dogs waiting for a home for small fee.

  • What breed of puppy?

    • Cavoodle…

      King Charles Spaniel crossed with Toy Poodle…

      • -2

        all oooodles are just scams sold on scumtree - by filth back yard breeders to the most stupid of people!!!

        • Calm down. No need to get triggered over dumb schit.

  • The only way you’re getting your money back is to run a $1500 online puppy scam… or just move on with your life and take this as a relatively cheap life lesson.

  • it's gone, unfortunately

  • +1

    Personally with any pet I feel a person should see the animal in person first. Each animal is different and you may have a better connection with one pup over another. You can also see the condition of the animal, also the environment it is being raised in and a feel for the seller. If you buy sight unseen it nearly feels like the animal is going to be a fancy accessory to your life not a member of the family.

    • Yeah and you'll never get a puppy with that mindset in the current environment, even home-breeders want a deposit of at least $500 straight up, and there's a queue behind you for the same dog if you don't

      • This must be in the city because any day of the week in Wellington, east gippsland or latrobe Shires in Victoria you can see the pup before buying and pick up straight away. Not just my experience but I know others who have and have not paid a deposit before seeing the dog.

        • How long ago was that?

          We've never paid a deposit for a puppy before our last, but the crackdown on backyard breeders in 2019 combined with the surge of demand from covid meant that it was a race just to get your deposit in before someone else does for in-demand breeds

          But it might just be a city thing, we spent 4 months last year looking for a lab/golden puppy but capped the search at ~100km out of Melbourne due to restrictions at the time. Hearing the same thing from a friend looking for a hypoallergenic breed at the moment, no one will talk to you unless you've got a deposit ready

  • +1

    Just use this as a sign to adopt something from shelter. At the very least, out of this bad experience, you'll change one dog's life for the better. I'm sure you'll love it.

    • +1

      Yes, good idea

  • +1

    You won't get the money back.
    Get a senior dog from the RSPCA. It will appreciate you did.

  • I feel for you, OP. These days almost anything can turn out to be a scam, so one has to always be on one’s guard. However, most people are genuine. I’m about to get a $63 million cut from a Nigerian Prince escaping persecution, so sometimes you get lucky — even when it seems too good to be true. I’m just waiting for the final paperwork to clear, but it feels good to help out a fellow human…

    • Haha, thanks for your compassion mate :-)

  • +4

    You should have told the police that they weren't wearing masks, that would have got them to go and do something.

    • Doubt it. Hypocrisy is the Australian Government’s middle name. They’re too busy arresting tennis stars to do any meaningful work. Always three steps behind our criminal innovators…

      • +1

        Tbh, I have more respect for common criminals than the government, at least a criminal will see justice at some point.

    • Lol

    • No if you could back door their website and say something about andrews govt and protests they'll be right there to arrest them.

  • +2

    Wow some people are about to say "good riddance" just because he dared to buy a puppy. Tf is wrong with some people?

    • +2

      Two words — disability pension. It irks people so when they find out people can survive on minimal resources, instead of doing the obviously “right thing” by society — walking into the desert to desiccate themselves

      • The only reason I could afford to buy a puppy is because I'm living with my parents and don't pay rent, food or bills. My parents won't let me pay.

        Otherwise, I would be very short on money if I were living on my own…

  • "Sophisticated scam" <> "I gave money to someone online that I did not know and for which their were no reviews and no one had recommended them to me"

    Sorry it happened to you of course. If it makes you feel any better. I work in the industry and people lose $100k+ in similar scams. So you learned this lesson relatively cheaply.

  • reminds me of the way too good to be true "insert high value item here" offers on Facebook

    a brand new iPhone 13 Pro Max for 62% off
    a new pair of Ray Bans for 73% off
    cheap Nike Jordans for 80% off
    etcetera etcetera

  • +3

    Amazing how many people here would like to remind you that you made an error and that you shouldn't have, rather than suggest ideas to help

    • +3

      suddenly everyone is an Asian parent, tough and sht….

      apart from that, I experienced myself a young lady came to my then money transfer service to transfer big lump of money to buy her imagination dog which stucked in Singapore, waiting for her to release the fund. Despite I tried to explain her and ask her reasonable questions, she nearly cry, looked me like I'm the one who gonna killed her imaginary dog. That make me felt guilty for a day.

      So people, when it comes to pets, it's easy to have emotion which scammers use it to scam you, be aware and ask yourself questions like is it too good to be true, any evidence to support what scammer tell is true and google or research before pay anything

    • Yes, exactly.

      I already know what I did wrong. I don't need some 22 year old keyboard warrior to tell me that…

    • No only that, but berate OP because they wanted a puppy and didn't opt for a rescue dog.

      • +1

        Absolutely. The grandstanding was on full display with this one

  • Was it Mary Toma ?

  • I enquired about Beagle online and someone was saying $700 whereas other genuine is asking around 5k. I had a little chat on message but she was not willing to send any current pic holding the puppy or video chat. Keep saying I am in-country and have medical conditions. Those were the red flags. Since then.. if someone says puppy around $1000, that is a scam.

  • i'll bet any amount of money you will not get your money back

    • Interesting, what proof would you accept to pay out on the bet if the OP claims to have been refunded? Asking for a friend…..

  • +1

    Your bank can't do a charge back?

    Edit: no card payment involved. Voluntary bank transfer therefore chargeback not possible.

  • Sorry to say. It's going to be tough to get the money.

  • I will persist.

    I will hound my bank until they relent.

    • +1

      You're barking up the wrong tree.

      • Funny.

  • -1

    This is unfortunately too common.
    The well intentioned animal liberationists got the govt to stop pet stores selling puppies in a bid to stop puppy farms.
    So now you have to go direct to the unorganised rabble that are breeders which makes it ripe for scammers and unethical breeders to prey on people.
    Paying a deposit up front seems to be a requirement to reserve your pup in the litter and excessive demand over supply during covid has meant it is almost impossible to find a pup.

    Most the actual breeders are poor at communicating, probably don't have a website etc .. .so you need to go through registered breeders for the relevant breed's association… it has also meant it's easy for people to set up backyard breeding and sell a few pups at thousands a piece.

    Why I can't walk into a pet shop and have them order a puppy from their connected breeder networks is beyond me.

    • Because unfortunately most pet stores were doing the wrong thing… but not all.. but secretly I think it was a Network of breeders who made it happen so now we are forced to pay their ridiculous prices and for some no name "designer" breeds which would have been called mutts in the 90s

      • I'm all for not having puppies on the shop floor.
        But this doesn't mean pet stores shouldn't be able to be the middle-man for the sale. This would allow people to deal with a shop front, ensure there is an appropriate middle person to vet the quality and accuracy of the breeders pups and reduce scams.

        • I agree.

          This is exactly why it's taken me so long to decide to get a dog.

          If pet shops were the middle men then you'd know that you're dealing with a legitimate business.

  • The last time I bought a dog was way way back when, although relatives have dumped a few on me since then. I got a copy of the RASKC journal which showed litters born and breeder details. You would pick one out, give them a call, then go and have a look. They all seemed to be in places like Kenthurst and Dural.

    But I see now that this is the newfangled way of doing it.


  • Lots and lots of puppy scams like this going on during covid. Had a friend who almost got scammed by a guy claiming to be selling for his father who just died and it was all pretty convincing. Best way to check is reverse image search the photos, but usually if you're even wondering if it's a scam it probably is.

  • +1

    Personal experience, I bought a puppy online 2 years ago, I was very suspicious from the start as the woman contacted my after seeing my comment on a facebook group. Her price was very reasonable compared to others and I assumed form the start she was likely a scammer until proven wrong, I asked for her breeder registartion number, contacts of all kind (home address, business address etc), copy of ID's, multiple references of previously sold puppies, and kept contact with her with weeks, receiving continuous updates, photos and videos of the puppy etc. On top of that I have "stalked" her all over the internet, finding other old ads form her and photos of her with other dogs etc until I was convinced she was honest and sent her the deposit, only after receiving a vet certificate, which I have followed up with a phone call to the vet.
    So it turned out she wasn't a scammer after all and received my puppy.

    • Nice.

  • +1

    People are so harsh on this forum.

    This exact scam happened to my dad about 4 months ago, he was trying to buy a dog for my sister out of the goodness of his heart as she was struggling with the pandemic, and unfortunately trusted someone a bit too hard. The scammers had a tasmanian based phone number, send you kennel registration id's, and have an ANZ bank account and Australian Name.

    Unfortunately my dad isn't well versed on the net and very savvy so didn't pick up on the obvious clues.

    Its frustrating because my dads funds went from an ANZ account to another ANZ account, and this bank account is still up and running. Therefore ANZ seem to be providing no due diligence with their accounts. A family member of mine works for Commbank and there is way more security and fraud checks in place with large transactions, including flags on accounts when large sums go in and out of an account instantly (as is the case with what these scammers do).

    I wish the banks would have more responsibility or more procedures in place. I know the responsibility does lie on the individual, but a lot of older people don't have the skills or internet experience to pick up on everything, and scams get more and more advanced.

    • Yes, absolutely right.

  • +3

    Sorry for your loss OP.

    In the future, use a reputable site like dogzonline.com.au to get in touch with a breeder. Set up a time to meet the breeder and see the pups in person first.

    • Thanks, man.

      I will look into that website and follow your sound advice :-)

  • Crazy that a puppy can cost so much in the first place, these breeders are making a fortune.

  • Sorry about the scam OP!

    To be honest, I would have guessed a domain called dogzonline was a scam too, but apparently that's obvious to many people here.

    Good luck with the bank! Keep at them.

    • Nah they are legit. Plenty of reputable breeders on there.

      The wife and I managed to get in touch with a golden retriever breeder all the way in Yass (we're in Sydney).

      Organised to meet them and the puppies when they were 6 weeks old to pick one. Got interviewed by the breeder to make sure we're a good fit for the pup (home conditions/space/time etc). Very smooth and easy process.

      A good breeder will care about whom they sell to.

      We also paid the breeder in cash on the day. Even though she was okay with a transfer. Makes it easy and safe for both parties.

  • OMG! is this really happening? We've been looking for Staffy for ages and it's so weird how the readers during covid do not allow you to see the puppys, sending photos is ok but unless you get to meet it has to be a scam right. Anyone else experienced this?

  • +1
Login or Join to leave a comment