A puppy con is the latest scam to snare Courier country victims during the pandemic.
Angus Council has issued a warning after a handful of people in the area have been among those caught out across the UK.
The con involves the offer of a puppy in exchange for large fee upfront and further insurance and delivery costs.
Some people have been left thousands of pounds out of pocket.
Mark Hodgkinson, Angus Council adult protection and review officer said: “We’ve already seen a couple of people who have lost significant amounts of money.
“Having searched online they have only found criminals on websites who are pretending to sell puppies but are actually just stealing people’s money.
“Some of the people who fall prey to this scam are lonely and vulnerable and they are going in search of a pet for companionship at a time when they are feeling more isolated because of the coronavirus crisis,” he added.
“It is an extremely wicked crime to exploit someone’s hopes of getting a cute puppy to care for and then leave them with nothing but a hefty hole in their finances.
“I understand that the police and trading standards colleagues are making enquiries into this type of scam and would welcome any information that would help to identify those responsible and hold them to account.”
People are being recommended to wait until after lockdown is fully lifted to think of buying a pet, and to get an animal from an adoption centre or reputable breeder.