Don't be dogged by scams this Christmas

DOG buyers are being warned to be aware of fake quarantine charges being applied for the purchase of dogs within Australia.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) regulatory compliance manager, Rob Bowman, said  the department had received a number of calls recently from people who bought a dog online and upon shipment the seller has demanded a further quarantine fee of up to $600.

"This charge is a complete scam, as there are no interstate quarantine requirements for movement of domestic dogs in mainland Australia," he said.

"Domestic dogs from Tasmania do require treatment for tapeworm, but this exception is only at a minimal cost.

"The DPI has received reports of online sellers charging a $600 quarantine fee, leaving purchasers out of pocket.

"Online shoppers need to be very wary about purchasing pets online and must carefully check the bona fide of sellers before making any payments."

Mr Bowman said a number of people in New South Wales had been scammed, and had paid for animals that they have viewed online, believing them to be from genuine breeders.

"It's a timely reminder ahead of Christmas, to be acutely aware about purchasing online," Mr Bowman said.

"Certainly if you are seeing charges for quarantine, when purchasing a domestic dog within Australia, these fees are false and buyers should be extremely careful about dealing with that seller."

Dogs NSW Chairman, Brian Crump, said the organisation was aware of the scam and was encouraging buyers to beware.

"Dogs NSW strongly supports the warnings given by the Department of Primary Industries and endorses this initiative," Mr Crump said.

"We recommend that people always ensure that puppies are healthy, checked by a vet and micro-chipped before they enter into a purchase."

If buyers have questions about quarantine they can phone the quarantine domestic phone enquiry service on 1800 084 881.

Topics:  christmas dogs scams working dogs