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Dog-breeder pleas for help tracing con artists with Barking link over £6k French bulldog puppy scam

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 August 2018

Dog breeder Izabela Yates was conned out of more than £6,000 by scammers who bought French bulldog puppies from her but whose payments didn't go through. Pic: IZABELA YATES

Dog breeder Izabela Yates was conned out of more than £6,000 by scammers who bought French bulldog puppies from her but whose payments didn't go through. Pic: IZABELA YATES

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A dog breeder has made an emotional plea to track down the con artists who tricked her out of thousands of pounds.

Stanley before Izabela Yates 'sold' him. Pic: IZABELA YATESStanley before Izabela Yates 'sold' him. Pic: IZABELA YATES

Dog-lover Izabela Yates discovered the scam when Hampshire resident Nadine Batten bought a French bulldog puppy from an address in Lawes Way, Barking, last month.

Ms Batten’s suspicions were aroused when she handed over £700 for the puppy – named Stanley – but was only given his pedigree registration papers and none of his innoculation documents.

When she got back home to Andover Ms Batten’s vet – who feared Stanley had viral disease distemper – advised her to contact Ms Yates, whose name was on the registration documents – for a record of his jabs.

So she phoned the breeder but Wigan-based Ms Yates was shocked to discover Stanley had been bought again just days after she sold him for £1,250. In total she had sold five puppies totalling £6,650.

Stanley before Izabela Yates 'sold' him. Pic: IZABELA YATESStanley before Izabela Yates 'sold' him. Pic: IZABELA YATES

However, when she contacted payments firm World Pay to see if the money had gone through she was told none of it had.

A tearful Ms Yates said: “I don’t know where three of [the puppies] are. That is the most upsetting thing. I wanted to sell my dogs to loving, family homes. I’m really passionate about my dogs. I’m scared they will be hurt. I just want to make sure they’re safe.

“And I’m absolutely disgusted. I want these people to know I will find them.”

None of the buyers’ mobile phone numbers now work, but Ms Yates tracked one down on social media who slammed the telephone down when she called pretending to want a puppy.

Ms Batten said she collected the French bulldog puppy Stanley from the Lawes Way house after agreeing the sale over the phone beforehand.

“I feel very bad for Izabela. It’s really important people come forward,” she said after confirming little Stanley’s health was improving.

Crime agency Action Fraud confirmed it received the case which is being assessed by officers from the City of London police’s national fraud intelligence bureau.

Anyone with information about this case can contact Action Fraud in confidence on 0300 123 2040

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