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Police advise about internet dogs

PUBLISHED: 13:35 25 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:04 06 July 2010

POLICE are again urging anyone considering buying a dog via the internet to be alert after further reports of a scam designed to get money under false pretences were received by officers.

POLICE are again urging anyone considering buying a dog via the internet to be alert after further reports of a scam designed to get money under false pretences were received by officers.

Suffolk Police issued a warning earlier this month after a Rendlesham resident spotted an advert on the internet for a Siberian husky puppy saying all that would be needed to buy the puppy was the cost of transportation - several hundred pounds.

The buyer was told there was a shipping company involved and was asked to pay half of the cost. She was then asked for more money as refundable insurance. In total £350 was sent off to an address in Africa.

The buyer was then told that the dog was stuck at a UK airport and that further cash would be needed for permits - and again several hundred pounds was requested. The buyer then contacted the airport and was told there were no dogs awaiting shipment.

At this point it was realised this was a scam and no further money was handed over.

Police have received several reports of residents in Ipswich, Stowmarket, Felixstowe and Bury St Edmunds being conned in a similar way in recent weeks - with a variety of different dogs, usually puppies, including King Charles Spaniels, Pugs and English Bulldogs, being used to entice buyers.

Police are urging anyone considering buying a dog off the internet to be cautious and not to send money if there are any doubts the seller may not be genuine. In many of these cases the buyers have transferred money to banks or addresses in Africa - despite the seller often giving a story that they are UK based.

As with any transaction it is always wise to speak to local sellers/ tradesmen to get quotes or view items before agreeing to purchase as many reputable companies/ dealers will be covered by other guarantees and trade association good practice.

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