Melbourne man charged with puppy scam claims more than 100 victims, say police

Police have arrested a suspected fraudster who sold fake puppies online and pretended to be from the tax office to defraud nearly $300,000.

The 32-year-old from Deer Park in Melbourne’s west has been charged with obtaining property by deception, possessing the proceeds of crime and using a fraudulent document.

Detectives said 109 people were defrauded of a total of $295,705 between April 2018 and September 2021.

Police allege the man advertised the sale of puppies on an online marketplace and used stolen identities to obtain bank accounts that potential buyers could transfer money to.

He also allegedly pretended to belong to the Australian tax authorities and a mobile phone company in order to scam people.

The man will face Melbourne Magistrates Court today.

Police have reminded people who buy dogs online not to hand over any money until they can see the animal in person.

They also warned people to be wary if someone claiming to be from a mobile phone company asks them to download an app to their phone.

Victoria Police have urged anyone who thinks they have been scammed to report it to www.cyber.gov.au or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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