GO!

BEWARE OF PUPPY SCAM!!!

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

  
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Ziggy Marley

Mommy's Boy
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 6, '07 7:05am PST 
I am in minnesota and this was actually on the news last night!!! Why do people do such things???
Thanks for keeping us on top of these things.
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Princess- Sophia

All about me
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 6, '07 9:38am PST 
I saw this on the news last week!! People like that make me sick...
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Nadya Snow- White

Bring Blue- Home!!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 6, '07 10:52am PST 
The sad part is that these scams will always be around as long as some poor person keeps falling for it.
A friend of mine had the same type of scam but it was for a roommate and he lost about $4,000.
People disgust me sometimes!
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Alex

"Im crazy", I- say CRAZY
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 6, '07 11:33am PST 
Sniffs fishy to me!! There was a puppy scam on that postaroo not too long ago. You just never know..
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♥Tela♥

Born to LOVE!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jun 6, '07 1:40pm PST 
Wow we cant believe how many people are out there to just get a buck... glad you brought this to our attention! Thanks dude!
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Buster

are you gonna- eat all that
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 10, '07 1:49pm PST 
ANOTHER PUPPY SCAM


Groups say to be wary of any ad or site that, for free or for a bargain, promises adorable puppies -- the new face of the old Nigerian money scheme.
By David Colker, Times Staff Writer
May 29, 2007


http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-puppyscam29may29,1,56281 85.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

And now for the latest scam from Nigeria — puppies.

The Council of Better Business Bureaus Inc. and the American Kennel Club today plan to issue a warning about fraudulent websites, MySpace postings and print ads asking people to help save puppies who are in desperate straits.

The sites and ads usually show adorable puppies that somehow have become stuck in Nigeria or other countries, and are offered free to new owners. A variation is to offer the puppies, such as purebred English bulldogs — a particularly expensive breed — at vastly discounted prices.

But free or not, people who had responded to the ads eventually were asked to send hundreds of dollars to cover such costs as shipping, customs, taxes and inoculations on an ever-escalating scale.

Some reported paying fees totaling more than $1,500.

"It's like the Nigerian advance-fee scams we've been seeing for years, except with the face of a puppy," said Steve Cox, a council vice president.

No matter how much was paid, no puppies arrived. Even the pictures — showing sad-eyed puppies with folds of skin so loose it looked as if they were wearing bunched-up sweaters — probably were fraudulent, mostly lifted from legitimate websites of unwitting owners.

Which leads to the only good news about the situation. "When people hear about these scams involving pups they get so upset for the poor dogs," said Alison Preszler, a council spokeswoman. "But at least I can say to them, 'There are no real puppies involved. It's all a fake.' "

The problem is real and growing, however. In the last couple of months, local bureaus across the country increasingly have been getting complaints, Cox said.

In April, a New York woman was charged with grand larceny, accused of collecting payments for English bulldog puppies she was advertising for sale online and then failing to deliver. The woman allegedly told local investigators that she shared the proceeds with a Nigerian accomplice.

There are several variations of the scheme.

The fraudulent ad that had caught the attention of Tracy Braswell of Pittsburgh was in the "free" section of a local, online classifieds site. The ad told of a puppy that would bring "much love and joy" to a home, and featured four pictures.

She wrote to the contact e-mail address and received a long reply. The puppy was in excellent health, playful, wonderful with children and a registered pure breed, the e-mail said.

The contact claimed that she recently had moved from the United States to Cameroon, which is adjacent to Nigeria, and that the dog was suffering because of the climate. "I love her so much," the woman wrote, that she was willing to give her away — for a $160 shipping fee.

Daisy Okas, a spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club, which registers purebred dogs, said the ad and e-mail raised several red flags. "It's very unusual that someone would be giving away a purebred puppy," Okas said. "Maybe an older dog. But puppies are coveted."

English bulldog puppies commonly sell for $1,200 to $3,000.

Another problem was shipping over a long distance. "These dogs are not built like athletes," Okas said. "They were bred to be companions for the most part."

The shipping fee probably would have been only the starting point. The way this scam works is that once a fee is paid, another is quickly requested. And because the person vying for the dog already has money invested, it's often paid.

Braswell, 34, didn't get that far. She had become suspicious after asking for details about the puppy's health. The woman wrote back that the dog came with a "one-year shipping guarantee" that would provide a refund if there were health problems. Or Braswell could choose a puppy "from the next litter."

That's when Braswell cut off communication. "What was she doing breeding puppies if the climate was not good for this one?" she asked.

Elizabeth Burch of Marysville, Wash., did send money. She had been looking for an English bulldog puppy as a surprise gift for Father's Day. The one she spotted online was in a straightforward ad, but the price was a bargain — $800.

After several e-mails, which included health certifications and copies of registration papers, she wired the money as instructed to Cameroon.

But her mother was suspicious. "She called a breeder in a nearby city and told her the story," Burch said. "The breeder told her, 'There is no dog. Call the AKC right away.' "

Burch, 26, rushed home on her lunch hour and called to cancel the wired money. She was in luck — the funds had not been picked up in Cameroon and she got a full refund.

The seller sent her an angry e-mail, saying she had caused him great shame. "I wrote back, saying he should be ashamed of himself for using such a beautiful animal to scam people."

Kim McDonald of Gallipolis, Ohio, was not so fortunate. Her son wanted an English bulldog and together they looked over online ads, finally narrowing their choices to three.

McDonald, 41, sent e-mails and received similar messages. "They told me they were at a conference in Nigeria," she said.

McDonald and her son finally chose a puppy named Emma that was being offered for free. McDonald sent $350 to cover all costs, including shipping. They were told that flight information would be forthcoming.

But instead came an e-mail asking for $200 more for customs fees to clear the puppy through London. McDonald had previously been told the puppy was coming from a breeder in Tennessee. Only the "agent" was in Nigeria.

She called the breeder, who told her that operation didn't handle English bulldogs at all. McDonald then e-mailed the "agent," asking for her money back. But there was no reply.

"We had gotten so excited about this little puppy that was coming," she said. "We were so sad."

So, with her ex-husband agreeing to split the bill, she went to a legitimate local breeder and got an English bulldog puppy. The cost — $1,600.

"She is all white and has a little brown spot on her head," McDonald said. "She is adorable. I wouldn't give her up for anything."

david.colker@latimes.com

Puppies Internet Scam: Sample Ad
Los Angeles Times

The following ad, which appeared on several online classifieds sites, is one of many that has been identified as fraudulent by Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Lovely puppy needs loving home

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.

Press release from AKC and BBB
http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=3220
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Teddy Bear- R.I.P.- 4~22~10

416436
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 10, '07 4:07pm PST 
As sad as it is, I refuse to buy a dog off the internet. I have to be able to see the puppy & know that I can trust the breeder. We've gotten 3 dogs from a nearby petstore who were completely healthy & I'd do it over again anytime. This infurates me to read. I am sorry to those of you who have lost money in these terribly decieving circumstances.
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Riley - living in Dallas

Foot Fetish
 
 
Barked: Sun Jun 10, '07 7:17pm PST 
I started reading what you had been emailed and immediately new it wasn't legit. We had fostered a dog a while ago and used www.craigslist.org to help find the pup a new home. We got a ton of responses very similar to the one you received. Basically if they say "we're out of the country but we'll sell you this dog anyway" or if the words/sentences do not make sense when you read them and it seems like they were totally generated and not written by a person, then they probably were.

We received maybe 5 fake responses for every real response to the pup we were trying to rehome. It's really sad that there are so many people who are devious and without conscience.

Edited by author Sun Jun 10, '07 7:17pm PST

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Bella

Bella Boom Boom- Loves to Vroom- Vroom~
 
 
Barked: Thu Jun 14, '07 1:14am PST 
You'll also get these types of email scams if you post "lost pet" or"found pet" ads, as I discovered.

The key tipoff is usually some sob story, poorly structured English and grammar such as many undotted "i"'s, (but enough to be somewhat comprehensible), some mention of money, saying they'll send you a money order, etc.

I never understood how people could buy animals off the internet...
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