Alert message sent 14/05/2020 13:18:00

Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police

14 May 2020

News and appeals

Animal lovers warned of pet buying scams

Police are issuing a warning after several people in Sussex have become victims of pet buying scams.
The suspect typically advertises puppies or kittens online and uses the Covid-19 outbreak as the reason the victim can’t come and see the pet. 
They will often send photos or videos and persuade the victim to make a deposit or even full payment in advance. The suspects may also try to get the victim to cover other unforeseen costs such as insurance or vaccinations, after they’ve made the initial payment. The pet is never provided.
A woman in her 20s from Worthing responded to an advert for a puppy posted on Facebook. The dog was said to be for sale for £400 plus a £100 delivery fee as it was in Ireland, she was conned into paying a £250 deposit.
The victim received an email that appeared to be from a shipping company advising that a life insurance payment of £300 must be paid in order to ship the puppy from Ireland to England.
She spoke to the seller as this was not agreed and was told it was due to the Covid-19 outbreak and was refundable. The victim became suspicious following the interaction and contacted police.
Read more here.

Keep burglars out of your business

If you are a commercial or retail business owner, now is a great time to think about checking over the security measures that you have in place, particularly while opportunist thieves continue to look to profit from lockdown and many businesses remain closed.
🔒 Ensure that all entrances to your business premises are locked securely, including any service doors. Doors and windows are particularly vulnerable.
💰 Consider moving high value goods away from display windows.
📽️ Give security cameras a clean and make sure that they are in working order and recording efficiently.
Officers are continuing to patrol more frequently, but we ask you to continue to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity as more people are out and about. Click here to find more advice about securing your business.

Is your child struggling with their mental health during the lockdown?

Organisations such as Childline are here to help. Call free on 0808 800 5000 or visit the support area of their website where they can chat 121 with or email a counsellor. Click here for Childline website.

Surrey and Sussex Police Fraud Newsletter May 2020 to view click here.


Help us keep Sussex safe

If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about any incident in this message please contact us online, email us at or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.

Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at


Links and attachments: Sussex Police will only ever link you to secure Websites we trust. We will only send you attachments where we believe it is absolutely necessary.
Message sent by
Anna Habdas (Police, Prevention Support and Engagement Officer, Sussex)

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