New Nigerian Scam: Pets, Free to Good Home

puppy scam

Have you seen the Tractor Supply Company commercial about the free puppy?

A man says “My neighbor gave my daughter a puppy,” and then describes how they’re now buying toys, food, dishes, etc. The actor smiles and says “It’s like my dad always said: there’s no such thing as a free puppy!”

Well, this couldn’t be closer to the truth when it comes to the latest Nigerian ’email’ scam: pets. Even worse, this genre of scam is rearing its ugly head on MySpace and even CraigsList, the first place many people check when looking for a great local deal.

The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) and the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) issued a joint press release on May 29th regarding this situation. A victim in Pittsburg has described her experience in news stories in the LA Times and on WTAE Channel 4 Action News.

Here is an example ad that has been determined to be fraud by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

“Lovely English bulldog puppy needing a loving and caring home, full of wrinkles, she is up to date on all her shots. Fine with kids and other pets, AKC and will come along with all her papers and toys, she will make the best house pet, will bring much love and joy to your home or family. Contact for more if you want to add her to your family.”

Chances are, there will be pictures included.

The rest of the scam goes like this:

1. There are shipping fees to get the puppy to the US (usually a couple of hundred dollars). You will be asked to wire these funds.

2. The seller will inform you they can’t ship the puppy because apparently there are also shots that are required for international travel. You will be asked to wire these funds.

The list goes on. The money flows out. And the dog? It doesn’t exist.

If you come across a deal that seems too good to be true, whether it involves a dog or not, check it first out on They have thousands of posts regarding peoples experiences with all types of scams.

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3 Responses to New Nigerian Scam: Pets, Free to Good Home

  1. poundwise says:

    I think people who fall these things, in some ways, get what they deserve. I mean, how gullible do you have to be?

    As for Craiglist, there are warnings all over the site to only deal locally and to not wire money, etc. So if someone does, it is not as if they haven’t been warned.

  2. Melissa says:

    That’s pretty harsh, poundwise. These people are clever, also creating aliases as shipping companies, etc to cover their tracks if you do try to check it out. No one deserves to be stolen from…gullible or not.

  3. Trish says:

    Hi. I have just fallen for the puppy scam. The breeder goes by the name of Ashly Comouxe and her email is The transportation agency is Royal Paws Pet City in voyage, Ohio. The name of the person I wired money to is Tony Nickman at 512 Benson St, Camden, NJ, 08103. I exchanged several emails with the breeder, fell in love with the Brussels Griffon puppy she had for sale, and answered a lot of detailed questions about whether or not I was suitable to adopt her puppy. She used “ok” alot, almost after every sentence. WHen I asked how to proceed she asked for my address and nearest airport. Two hours later she emailed me to say the puppy was with the pet transportation agency which was waiting for me to send the payment so they could transport my puppy to me. I checked out the agency first and seemed very legit. So once they contacted me I wired them $350.00 american through western union. I then received an email from the agency waying the puppy was about to board the plane and they would get back to me with the delivery time. An hour later I got another email from the agency stating that my puppy was being held at the Ohio airport because his life insurance has expired two days prior and I had to send an additional $500.00 american to get him shipped to me or I would be facing criminal charges for animal violation. I realized at that point that I was definitely being scammed. so I emailed the owner and demanded that she either straighten things out on her end and get my puppy to me, OR reimburse my money, OR I would call my lawyer and the police. She responded that if I paid the 500.00 I would be reimbursed once the puppy arrived. Ofcourse I didn’t send another cent. Now I am left with no puppy, and I’m out $400.00 canadian. To make matters worse, I had to explain to my five year old daughter why the puppy wasn’t coming. She cried for an hour. I have been emailing the breeder all day with nasty comments, telling her I had the police and my lawyer looking for her. SHe ahs replied twice, once to say “yes, okay” and once to say “it is normal” meaing that being scammed is normal. I am outraged, saddened and I feel like a fool. Worst of all, my poor daughter had to learn a lesson like this far too young. THese people are disgusting and must be stopped. Please pass the word around. I don’t want anyone else going through this.

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