Bristol Trading Standards have had several complaints of Bristolians being tricked into buying non-existent puppies over the internet recently. Advisers are warning against people buying the animals online, particularly when payment is being requested by money transfer service Western Union.
It seems like the most common trick is to advertise a pedigree puppy for sale at a cheap rate from a false address. The sellers then invent an appealing reason, such as the death of a relative, to justify why they are selling and ask the buyer to make sure that the puppy will have a good home.
Alexis Sycamore, consumer advisor for Bristol City Council, recommends that the buyer should always ask to see the dog before any money changes hands:
“If you haven’t seen the puppy don’t be persuaded to send money in particular by Western Union when you cannot trace who has received it and once money has been sent it cannot be retrieved. If you send money by Western Union it cannot be traced by the authorities. Western Union’s own advice is don’t send money this way unless you know the person."
If you suspect that people are selling dogs fraudulently or have any information about this case please report it to the local Trading Standards Department at: