Man arrested over $91k puppy scam | #socialmedia

A Sydney man has been arrested with police alleging he was a “money mule” working on behalf of a multi-national puppy scam syndicate.

Police will allege in court the man played a role in scamming more than $91,000 from would be dog owners before laundering the money through cryptocurrency.

He is accused of receiving the money as deposits in his own personal bank account before allegedly converting the funds into cryptocurrency.

There was a spike in puppy scams during the worst of the pandemic.

The 53-year-old man was arrested at a unit on George St, Sydney around 8.45am on Tuesday.

Cumberland Police Area Command Crime Manager Detective Inspector Glenn Morfoot said the online advertisements for designer breed puppies asking for thousands of dollars.

“They’re mostly french bulldog and british bulldog puppies so as you can imagine we’re talking somewhere in the vacinity of two to five thousand dollars per puppy,” Inspector Morfoot said.

Inspector Morfoot said it was “quite a hard environment for the perspective buyers,” with the high demand for puppies since the pandemic began.

“There has been a high demand for puppies so we believe it’s been a target reach environment for these particular frauds,” Inspector Morfoot said.

“As far as we believe, these dogs never existed, it is a case that they have sourced photographs from other places and used those photographs in lieu of the dogs.

“People do need to do their due diligence, if they’re not sure about it they probably need to contact the people direct rather than just relying purely on online communication.”




Last year, Nationals MP MP Gurmesh Singh warned would-be dog owners about how they purchased their pets.

“Fair Trading NSW has reported an increase in scammers posting fake classified ads on websites, in the paper or on social media platforms and asking for thousands of dollars for a non-existent puppy,” Mr Singh said.

“Even though puppies soon become members of the family they should still be looked at as an investment and prospective puppy parents have to consider the risks before purchasing one.”

In May, 2020, the ACCC’s Scamwatch reported that puppy scams in 2020 were almost five times higher than the average, with losses on track to exceed to 2019 total of $360,000.

As of August, Scamwatch has received over 3,900 COVID-19 related scams reports with over $3.1 million in losses since the outbreak of the virus.


Originally published as Sydney man arrested over $91k puppy scam

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