Provincial police are warning citizens to remain careful when purchasing pets over the internet following a “puppy scam” incident in Norfolk County.

Police were alerted to the fraud on Monday after a resident issued a complaint.

According to police the victim responded to an ad on a website for a puppy for sale in Waterford. The victim communicated with the apparent seller and a price was negotiated. The victim sent the seller a $350 down payment through e-transfer but the puppy was never delivered.

The victim went to the residence advertised only to find a confused homeowner who was unaware their address was being used in the scam. 

In order to avoid these types of scams, remember the following general words of advice:

  • Know whom you are dealing with - independently confirm your seller's name, street, address, and telephone number.
  • Resist pressure to "act now." If an offer sounds too good to be true it usually is.
  • If the buyer wants to use a service you have not heard of, be sure to check it out to be sure it is reliable - check its Web site, call its customer service hotline, and read its terms of agreement and privacy policy. If you do not feel comfortable with the service, do not use it.
  • NEVER wire money or use a bank-to-bank transfer in a transaction.
  • ALWAYS try to deal locally when buying or selling anything or of high-value.
  • DO NOT sell or buy any animal from someone who is unable or unwilling to meet you face to face.
  • NEVER buy any animal that you have not seen in real life and had inspected by a professional.