The family fell for a scam advert posted on the Pets4Homes website which boasted of a gorgeous Kennel Club-registered puppy all ready for its new home - its siblings having already been snapped up by eager pet owners.
The puppy was advertised as being in "impeccable health", insured for four weeks, vet-inspected and micro-chipped, and the family handed over the dosh before setting out from Cornwall to London in the early hours to pick up the prized pup.
With the London-based puppy supposedly all ready for its new home, and its siblings 'already sold', they had to set off from Cornwall in the early hours of the morning and it took them ten hours to get there.
But what had seemed too good to be true turned out to be exactly that, reports
When they got to the house where the puppy was supposed to be waiting for them, the residents who answered the door knew nothing about it - and there was no puppy.
Posting to a golden retriever group to warn others, the woman said: "Just to let everyone know about a scam that unfortunately I have been a victim of today.
"I feel incredibly stupid to say the least and should have known better. I got sucked into travelling ten hours today and started out at 3.30 this morning from Cornwall to London, went to the address, which was a real address, but obviously no person of said name etc."
Now breeders are warning that anyone looking for a new puppy should visit the owners before transferring any funds after an increase in reported scams since the coronavirus outbreak.