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Source: New Zealand Police (National News)

At Christmas time, we sometimes think we can get good deals through online traders and it’s not always the case. 

Sometimes there are people selling puppies which don’t exist. Some online trading sites and fake websites have been set up to sell puppies to buyers, sight-unseen.

They can be sought-after and popular breeds such as English bulldogs, huskies, Staffordshire bull terriers, to Maltese, and even toy poodles.

The public need to be careful not to fall into this trap. Sellers claim these puppies to be fully vaccinated and potty trained, and a fake seller is likely not to let you view the puppy before purchase and claim they have their own delivery service.

In the past sellers have suggested paying for a ‘change of ownership’ document for each purchased puppy, which is not a thing in New Zealand.

Neither is a breeder registering the puppy before you get it… all these things are red flags.

People need to be doing some extensive research on puppy sellers before paying money to anyone.

Safety tips when buying a puppy online – Ngā kupu āwhina mō te hoko kurī mā te ipurangi

  • Always buy from a reputable breeder or authentic seller if you can.
  • Ask to see the puppy first and meet in a public place if you are unable to go to their property.
  • Make sure a friend or family member is aware of the transaction details before you go.
  • Try to avoid making a transaction before meeting someone first and never deposit money into a person’s account without viewing the puppy first.
  • Trust your instincts, if it sounds like a scam, and it’s too good to be true it probably is.

Call 111 in an emergency if something is happening right now, illegal or suspicious. If it’s already happened you can provide information via the Police non-emergency number – call 105 or go online at

Waea atu ki 111 me he ohotata, e tū ana rānei tētahi mea taihara, hihira rānei i taua wā tonu. Mēnā kua pahawa kē, me tuku taipitopito mā te nama ohotata-kore a Ngā Pirihimana – waea atu ki 105, toro ki te ipurangi ki rānei


Issued by Police Media Centre

MEDIA TO NOTE: If you wish to speak to Police in relation to this release to get local comment about scammers, we can put you in touch with a police district spokesperson.