Residents urged to remain vigilant following emerging trend of pet fraud

Residents across Cheshire are being urged to remain vigilant when buying pets online following an emerging trend of animal related scams during the coronavirus pandemic.

In recent months, there have been several reports of scammers using websites to advertise a pet and demand payment in advance across Cheshire.

Fraudsters are advertising pets such as puppies and kittens for sale online, asking victims to pay a deposit for the pet without seeing them in person.

Many scammers are using the coronavirus pandemic as a reason why victims cannot see the animal before purchasing.

After a deposit payment is made, criminals may then ask for more cash for insurance or vaccinations.

In the end fraudsters fail to provide a pet, leaving some victims out of pocket of over £1,000.

Detective Sergeant Chris Jacques, of the Economic Crime Unit said: "I would urge people to think very carefully before buying a pet online and be aware of the scams that are circulating at the moment.

"Sadly this is just one of a number of scams that have been reported to us during the coronavirus pandemic.

"If you do decide that you want to buy a pet online then be sure to do your research and think about whether you know and trust the person you are buying from.

"I would urge anyone who believes that they have been a victim of this kind of fraud to report it by calling Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or visit"



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Tracy Eastham
Tuesday 16th June 2020 at 6:23 pm
A pet is a long term commitment, not something to buy online quickly to help pass time during lockdown. Don’t rush into an online purchase and never buy without seeing both parents, their papers and ID....this funds sickeningly cruel puppy farms.
There are so many beautiful cats, kittens, dogs & puppies all desperately in need of loving homes in reputable rescue centres. If they don’t have exactly what you want right away,’s worth it for the right family member. Try places like cats protection, Dogs4rescue, Cheshire Dogs home etc. Adopt don’t shop, the best pets are rescues.