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Puppy scam warning

Puppy Yorkshire CC0

Tasmanians have lost more than $35,000 to overseas puppy scams this year, with people paying for dogs that do not exist.

Tasmania Police says eleven people have fallen for fake advertisements posted by fraudsters who have taken advantage of coronavirus restrictions.

"This is another type of scam where the offenders target the emotions of their victims," Detective Sergeant Paul Turner said.

"Scammers set up fake websites or ads on online classifieds and social media pretending to sell sought-after dog breeds."

He said breeds most commonly put up for "sale" by scammers are Cavoodles, Shih Tzus and French Bulldogs.

"The scammer will usually ask for up-front payments via money transfer to pay for the pet and transport," he added.

Police say pet adoptions or reputable breeders remain the safest options for finding a four-legged friend.