Suspected French Bulldog scammer charged
A woman who allegedly scammed people desperate to buy a French Bulldog during the pandemic has been hit with a series of accusations.
Victoria Police said the 42-year-old advertised the wanted puppies in online marketplaces, demanding large deposits as well as freight and vet fees, before stopping all contact.
There were no refunds and the purebred puppies never arrived.
It is alleged that his five victims lost a total of over $ 30,000 in the scams, carried out between January and April 2020, and one victim lost over $ 18,000.
“We understand that during tough times people can look for a furry friend to get them through the lockdown and the current environment has allowed opportunistic thieves to take advantage of people and their families,” Detective Sgt. interim Catherine Weeks in a statement released on Saturday.
“We encourage you, whenever possible, to delay any purchase until you can see the dog in person.”
French Bulldogs are an affectionate breed that typically costs around $ 4,000, but increasing demand during shutdowns has pushed prices up to over $ 10,000.
The National Kennel Council has established a permanent working group to examine corrupt practices in French Bulldog breeding.
Detectives arrested the woman in Blairgowrie on Wednesday.
She has been charged with five counts of fraud and will appear in court in February.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Crimestoppers, while anyone who believes they have been scammed should visit Report Cyber’s website www.cyber.gov.au.