(SOUTH BRUCE, ON) - March is Fraud Prevention Month and South Bruce Ontario Provincial Police, in conjunction with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC), encourages the community to Recognize, Reject and Report Fraud.
On March 15, 2019, members of the South Bruce Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were dispatched to a report of a fraud also known as The Puppy Scam.
Through the course of the investigation, it was determined that a resident located an advertisement on the Paisley Buy/Sell Facebook page that had a puppy for sale in Paisley, Ontario. Communication was established and the resident agreed to e-transfer the seller partial payment for the puppy.
The resident and the seller agreed to meet at an address in Paisley, Ontario where she would receive the puppy. When the resident arrived at the address, no one was home and the property had a for sale sign on it. The seller never showed up and no puppy was received. While the resident was at the agreed upon address in Paisley she met another resident who had also e-transferred money to the seller and was at the address to receive a puppy.
The OPP are warning all South Bruce residents to be extremely vigilant when searching web sites with items posted for sale. Some scam artists use stolen photos in their advertisements. The scam artist will claim the pictures are of animals for sale. The scam artist does not have the animal that he/she is trying to sell. The scam artist will ask for money in advance and refer the buyer to a money wiring service. The buyer doesn't receive the animal and becomes a victim.
Tips to avoid these types of scams:
Always know who you are dealing with by doing your research
Confirm valid addresses, phone numbers and get reliable references before making large purchases over the internet
Beware on sellers insisting to be paid by wire transfer service. Wire transfers are often untraceable and are not refundable.
NEVER wire money or use a bank-to-bank transfer in a transaction
Don't allow a seller to pressure you into a purchase. If they can't wait for your business, they aren't worth giving your business to
If an offer sounds too good to be true it probably is
NEVER buy any animal that you have not seen in real life
Trust your senses. If you are not comfortable with the conversation, don't follow through with the purchase
Remember…Recognize it! Reject it! Report it!
For more information on fraud, call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or http://www.antifraudcentre.ca.