A 60-year-old Trail woman sent a $400 electronic transfer to buy a puppy online, but no puppy arrived and the funds are lost.

The incident was reported to Trail and Greater District RCMP on April 24th regarding a suspect pretending to sell Maltese puppies through social media.

“Trail RCMP remind the public that money sent electronically cannot be recovered due to the complexity of these kinds of scams,” said Sergeant Mike Wicentowich. “Trail RCMP recommends only exchanging money with trusted and verified sources before engaging in any exchange of funds.”

As for the puppy scam, it has been widely reported all across B.C. for that reason the BC RCMP offered some tips for those seeking to make a legitimate online puppy purchase:

  • If you are in the market for a pet, consider adopting one from a reputable rescue organisation or contacting a registered breeder with the Canadian Kennel Club, and whenever possible going to meet the breeder and puppies.
  • If the person is claiming to be a breeder, ask for the breeder registration information and verify the information.
  • If someone is selling a purebred dog at a price that’s too good to be true, it is likely a scam.
  • If an ad says the poster is giving a dog away for free but then asks you to pay for travel and other additional costs, it is likely a scam.
  • If the person is selling an animal, ask for the pet’s veterinarian clinic and call to confirm that the pet is a patient there.
  • Ask for the seller’s phone number. Call and ask specific questions about what the person is selling. If they don’t give a phone number, it could be a sign of a scam.
  • Ask for multiple photos of the puppy. Compare them to ensure the dog is the same in all photos and that they are not stock photos.

More information about how to avoid being scammed can be obtained from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Click here to view a warning from BC RCMP to steer clear of puppy scams