Queensland Fraud Squad Detective Superintendent Brian Hay on the topic of websites that combat scams (like pups4sale) versus those that don't (like the sites listed below):
"Some sites have gone to considerable lengths, whereas others make little effort at all. Government regulation of the industry is inevitable. These sites are enablers. If they're aware that their product is enabling the commission of a crime, I'm no lawyer but if they fail their customer then they've been negligent in preventing that from happening. If you provide a service, you have to protect your client."
Detective Superintendent Hay goes on to say: "This is an Organised Crime business. Scammers counsel each other, provide tutelage, pass notes to each other. They have mentors for when they get to a certain stage. They may introduce a new player to get more money, new business opportunities."( Source)
If the above sends a shiver up your spine when looking for a puppy, then aren't you glad that pups4sale protects our clients - an extreme rarity in the Australian online canine marketplace.
Pups4sale regularly updates the Puppy Scams Hall of Shame (below). This list includes websites active in the Australian online marketplace that allow puppy scams to be run on their pages - whether it be through negligence, incompetence or collusion with the scammers. Each listing is accompanied by a detailed video, which shows actual fake puppy classifieds as they appear on the site in question. Needless to say, be extremely wary of buying puppies from such sites. Additionally, if you are selling puppies, ask yourself whether you want your litter of puppies listed alongside fake ads that are trying to steal money from fellow Australians. If the answer is "no", then pups4sale is the perfect place for you to sell your puppies safely and securely.
The Australian Puppy Scams Hall of Shame (in alphabetical order):
Puppies for sale scams - warning video 01
Puppies for sale scams - warning video 02
If in any doubt whatsoever about the authenticity of a particular sale or buyer, don't hesitate to Contact Us for further advice BEFORE transferring any funds.
. NEVER pay via Western Union or any other form of money transfer that can remain anonymous. If you are requested to do this by the seller, it is a scam.
. NEVER pay via Osko instant bank-to-bank payments. If you are requested to do this by the seller, it is a scam.
. If a seller wishes to be paid by direct deposit, ONLY do so via standard Direct Deposit between Australian banks and ONLY into a personal bank account where the name on the bank account matches that of the seller. Scammers are setting up Australian bank accounts with fake ID, then having their victims pay into that account. However the name on the account almost never matches the name the scammer is using in their scam ads.
. If in ANY doubt about the seller, ask for the details of their Vet, and contact the Vet to make sure:
(a) s/he has no concerns about the seller.
(b) the litter from which you are intending to buy has been vaccinated & microchipped (if old enough) according to the required schedule.
. If asked forID details such as Medicare number, driver's licence number, etc for "verification" or "security" purposes in order to receive the address details of the advertiser, it is a scam.
. If the seller states they are State Canine Council registered, ask for their kennel name / prefix and confirm these details as well as the seller's name with their Canine Council.
. If in doubt about any paperwork, have the seller scan a copy of the vaccination certificate, their Canine Council membership, microchip certificate, etc and email it to you. As scanners are so common these days, it is not unreasonable to ask for this to be done if you are in doubt.
. If the potential seller has poor English / grammar / spelling AND does not have an Australian telephone number you can contact him/her on, it is likely they are a scammer.
. Both Australian landlines and mobiles can be impersonated by overseas scammers. If the advertiser supplies a telephone number, it will ALWAYS be a mobile telephone number. If you ring that number, one of two things will happen:
1: It will be a random number the scammer has supplied, which will either not be connected, or belong to someone unrelated to the scam and who knows nothing about what is going on.
2: It will be answered by someone with a foreign accent, who will not be able to answer any of the questions listed above. You can be sure they will try and use any excuse to distract you from obtaining answers to the above questions. Regardless, this person is ALWAYS a scammer.
If in any doubt whatseover, please contact admin for further advice - BEFORE handing over any money.
. More information & tips on the process of buying a puppy can be found here on the Daily Dog Blog.
We repeat - if in any doubt whatsoever about the authenticity of a particular sale or buyer, don't hesitate to Contact Us for further advice BEFORE transferring any funds.
Whilst we do everything reasonably possible to detect and prevent scam attempts on our site, pups4sale does not accept any liability nor take responsibility for the authenticity of any advertisement placed on our website whatsoever.
At pups4sale we're publishing a series of blog Posts to assist our advertisers maximise the success of their classified ads. Here are links to the Posts published so far, by topic:
. Photos - good quality photos make a huge difference to the success of your ad. We highlight some of the dos and don'ts with respect to your puppy pics.
. Facebook - most people have a Facebook Account these days. We show you how to leverage the large audience our own Facebook Page has when selling your litter.
. Description - the details you include about your pups also makes a big difference to the success of your ad - and even if enquirers contact you in the first place. We show you how to make this important aspect work for you.
. Don't ever share your ID details (such as Driver Licence) with potential buyers. Scammers pretend to be legitimate buyers with the aim of stealing such details. They pretend to be checking you are not a scammer(!) by requiring you to send your ID to them - with the aim of stealing your ID, of course! If you are asked for this information, it is very likely you are dealing with a scammer.
. We recommend the use of cash or direct deposit into your bank account as the preferred method of receiving payment for a puppy. This includes receiving payment for puppies you intend to export. Cash or a confirmed deposit into your bank account are by far the most secure methods of payment.
. Do not accept payment by PayPal or Western Union. Email confirmation of payment receipts sent from scammers using these methods can look quite genuine, but the actual funds will never arrive.
. Ask for references from any potential buyer you think may be a puppy farmer who is seeking to buy additional "breeders". Include in that reference list the contact details of their Vet, whom you can then contact to confirm the buyer cares for their existing animals properly.
. If the potential buyer has poor English / grammar / spelling AND does not have an Australian telephone number you can contact him/her on, it is likely they are a scammer.
. If the buyer wants to have an "agent" pick the puppy up, it is a scammer. Don't sell.
. If a potential buyer offers to pay substantially more than you are asking, for various reasons, including "agent" fees, transport, costs, etc, it is a scammer. Don't sell.
. If allowing people to come to your house to view or pick up pups, record their vehicle details (license plate number, make, model & colour of the vehicle) & make it clear you are doing so for security reasons. Bad guys have in the past viewed a litter at a house with the aim of coming back later and stealing puppies. This will at the very least make them think twice.
. If in any doubt whatsoever about the authenticity of a particular sale or buyer, don't hesitate to Contact Us for further advice.