New figures from Action Fraud show that more than 6,000 people in the UK have become victims of pet scammers since the first lockdown a year ago.
Most answered adverts online from people claiming to have puppies for sale.
The victims are often sent pictures or videos of the dog, pay a deposit, but then never hear from the seller again. During Covid-19 demand for puppies soared, as did prices – and scammers saw an opportunity.
Reporter Angus Crawford
Video Journalist Tony Smith