The best place to buy pets are your local pet shops. Craigslist have also issued a general warning not to buy something from strangers on the internet, especially when you can’t meet up with them.

Norfolk police have received a number of calls from concerned dog enthusiasts over the past few days, who fear they have been duped.

One victim, a woman from the Norwich area, paid £1,000 up front to secure a dog she saw advertised on the internet. The cash was to allegedly cover animal, shipping and vet fees.

A man from the King’s Lynn area paid more than £200 after replying to an advertisement for a dog on a national newspaper’s website.

In all cases reported to Norfolk police, the callers have been initially told that the dog will be coming from Scotland and money is required up front.

More money is then requested for shipping/quarantine fees and if they do not pay up the ‘seller’ makes threats to report the person for animal cruelty.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk police warned people never to buy an animal off the internet or from an unknown seller, but to go to a reputable, local breeder or sanctuary.