Victim of Rockingham woman’s Gumtree puppy scam speaks out


Paige holds a container of dog treats she was getting ready to sell to put towards her new puppy.
Paige holds a container of dog treats she was getting ready to sell to put towards her new puppy.

A VICTIM of a Rockingham woman’s puppy scam has spoken out about the impact it had on her eight-year-old daughter.

Tamica Perkins’ daughter Paige wanted nothing more than a pug puppy.

“Paige wanted to buy a pug – we said to her a dog is a big commitment so if she really wanted a pug she had to show us she could commit,” she said.

“She set about baking dog treats to sell to raise the money – she worked so hard every day and saved every cent.

“We were happy she showed she was committed so we started looking for a pug.”

They came across an ad for a female pug puppy on Gumtree.

“We contacted the lady, who I spoke with for a good 30 minutes on the phone as she was in WA and we are in Tasmania,” she said.

“She explained that she had to give up the dog due to her son’s allergies, and that she had been scammed in the past so she asked for a deposit.

“I was satisfied with what she told me as everything appeared legitimate and arrangements were made for the dog to be flown to us the next week on a Wednesday.”

A few days later, Mrs Perkins contacted the seller to confirm flight details and what type of food they should have ready.

“My texts went unanswered – she ceased all contact,” she said.

“I rang the freight company as she gave us those details and they said a woman by the seller’s name had asked for a quote but it was for a different breed of dog and no booking had been made.”

“We went immediately to our local police who told us to fill in an ACORN (Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network) report.”

Mrs Perkins said the hardest part was having to tell Paige.

“When the Wednesday came round we had to have that discussion with Paige. She had been so excited and told all of her friends at school,” she said.

“She had even cleaned the house and given the dog a name – ‘Milly’.

“She was absolutely devastated.

“It was a hard lesson for Paige to learn – that not everyone is honest – and hard for us to see our child lose her faith and trust.”

Not wanting another family to go through that trauma, Mrs Perkins posted a warning to the Bondi Vet’s Facebook page.

“The main aim of taking to social media was to make people aware of this person and that it can happen to anyone,” she said.

“Through that post a man from Queensland contacted me; turns out she had sold him the same pug on the same day.”

Now-convicted Estelle Makwana has been allowed a time to pay arrangement for her fines, but Mrs Perkins is not sure when she will get her $500 deposit back.

“Yes I did feel like a goose – but she knew it was for a little girl and yet she still did it,” she said.

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