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 Scam.com. They have thousands of posts regarding peoples experiences with all types of scams.