Action Fraud are warning animal lovers to be aware of buying pets advertised for sale via popular online auction websites.
The national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, says it receives on average 90-100 reports of pet related auction fraud every month and 50-60 are specifically about puppies.
Fraudsters place an advert of the pet for sale and once payment is made, usually by money transfer or bank transfer, the pet does not materialise.
The scammer will normally ask for further advanced payments for courier charges, shipping fees or vet bills. There were 44 reported incidents in London alone.
For more information visit actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud