The 12 scams of Christmas: Puppy scams

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The 12 scams of Christmas: Puppy scams

With the festive season nearly upon us, ‘tis the season for online scams.

The Financial and Cyber Crime Group are reminding Queenslanders to be aware of Grinch-like scammers and be sure to stay alert to scams, such as puppy scams.

This gets a special mention, as scammers know Christmas is a popular time to gift pets, and tug at people’s emotions posting fake ads of sought-after breeds.

The QPS as well as ScamWatch have warned previously about the rise in puppy scams seen during 2020.

Don’t fall for the cute pictures and cheap prices for what is a non-existent puppy – always do independent research and cut off communication if the ‘seller’ requests upfront payments through unsecure methods such as wire or bank transfer.

Doing a reverse image search is a good way to check if the puppy photo has been taken from elsewhere.

Always get a veterinarian report on any animal before you consider buying it.

Detective Inspector Vince Byrnes from the Financial and Cyber Crime Group said that you are always going to be better off buying a pet that you can see in person prior to buying the pet.

“We are reminding Queenslanders to stay in control when shopping online by ensuring the product website is legitimate, and researching the website online prior to making any purchases,” Detective Inspector Byrnes said.

“If a website does not participate with a secure payment service or a credit card transaction, or is offering greater discounts for direct deposit, it is most likely a scam.

“Usually the criminal is after your finances and your personal identification information.”

For information on fake websites, phishing scams, parcel delivery scams and fake seller/buyer scams, click on the links below:

The 12 scams of Christmas: Fake websites

The 12 scams of Christmas: Phishing scams

The 12 scams of Christmas: Parcel delivery scams

The 12 scams of Christmas: Fake online sellers

The 12 scams of Christmas: Fake online buyers

To learn more about scams, visit or the Queensland Police Service’s R U in Control campaign at

If you have information for police, contact Policelink by providing information using the online suspicious activity form 24hrs per day at

You can report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers, a registered charity and community volunteer organisation, via 24hrs per day.