As part of its Fraud Prevention Month, Waterloo Regional Police are warning residents to be wary of several different online scams, including one involving puppies.
A spokesperson for Waterloo Regional Police said that at least two people in the region have fallen victim to online scams involving animals this year.
“With spring coming, we are expecting to see more,” said Cherri Greeno, Waterloo Regional Police media relations co-ordinator.
Police say that the victims find a pet in an online ad and contact the number provided to make arrangements to purchase it.
They will then be asked to provide funds through an online money transfer for anything from shipping to vet bills to the animal itself.
Everything will seem fine and the fraudster will remain in contact, right up until the animal is scheduled to arrive — but never does.
The victim then contacts the fraudster, who will have cut off communication.
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Here are some tips from the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre for making online purchases.
Be wary of deals that are too good to be true, such as if the price seems way too low.
Be wary when dealing with overseas vendors or if there is limited to no feedback on vendors.
Use a credit card to shop online, as customers receive some protections.
Take a close look at the website for spelling or grammar errors, as these often point to counterfeit sites.
If you are making a local online purchase, the Waterloo police suggest you do so in a well-lit public place.
They also urge you to bring a friend or at least make friends of loved ones aware where you are headed.