According to the Better Business Bureau Americans continue to file tens of thousands of complaints about puppy scams with consumer organizations and law enforcement agencies.
People who have studied these scams believe that at least 80% of the sponsored advertising sites that appear in an internet search for pets may be fraudulent... 80%!!
The goal is to steal your money--thousands of dollars. There is no puppy. No Bulldog. No Yorky.
They advertise puppies at bargain prices or even *free* and post puppy pictures from other sites. They insist the buyer wire the payment through Western Union or MoneyGram before the puppy is shipped, but then there is always a problem with shipping and they need more money.
They need a special crate for shipping. Then they need a fee for a health certificate or insurance and so on. As long as the buyer pays, they keep asking for money.
Some scammers have even threatened to turn the customer over to the FBI for animal cruelty if they don’t pay.
The puppy is never delivered because there never was a puppy to begin with.
The BBB believes that most of the scammers originate from African countries, Cameroon and Nigeria. It would seem that puppy scamming is one of the more popular occupations in these countries and contributes significantly to their GNP.
I have corresponded with these scammers several times and I posted this exchange several years ago. This is the funniest one because he loses track of which puppy scam he is running through the days this went on. It all started with a spam comment on one of my blog posts where he thought he was putting in a classified ad for a free Bulldog puppy:
GET THESE VERY HEALTHY English bulldog PUPPIES AT YOUR HOMES FOR FREE.THEY ARE VERY HEALTHY AND CURRENT ON THEIR MOST RECENT SHOTS AND COME ALONGSIDE ALL THEIR HEALTH PAPERS.THEY ARE ALSO VERY FAMILIAR WITH OTHER ANImALS AND ARE WELL HOME TRAINED SO PLEASE CONTACT ME IF INTERESTED IN MAKING THEM PART OF YOUR FAMILY. THANKS [email]
Me: I am interested in buying a Bulldog. Please send details about the puppies.
Hello Jan My puppies are very healthy.They have all their health papers,are A.K.C,and C.K.C registered.They are also D.N.A tested and are also micro chipped.They are well home band potty trained and are very familiar with other animals.They also do understand many languages for i travel with them to any countries.Right now for example i am with the in Africa on research basis and they will get used to most of the African languages. They are all 4weeks old and are very playful too.If there be any other infos, please let e know in your next ail. Thanks Johnson
Me: Johnson, I'm just curious about the price and do you have any pictures of them?
Jan I a not that kind of person who sells animals because they are all Beings and Gods creation like us so i feel like selling a human if selling an animal.I am giving the out absolutely for free because my job provides me with very limited time to spend with them thus i cannot take very good care of them.So all i am after is someone who can provide ore time to spend with them and a good home as well.all you have to do is pay for their transportation cost to you and nothing else.So can you do that for them? Just give me soe time to get their photos to you.Waiting Johnson
Me: My son really wants a Bulldog puppy. Transportation from where? Where are the puppies?
JAN, I AM PRESENTLY IN WEST AFRICA, IN VICTORIA ISLAND,SOUTHERN CAMEROON. AND THAT IS WHERE THE PUPPY WILL BE SHIPPED FROM. And cost if $400. Thanks Johnson
Me: $400? That sounds really expensive.
Jan, Just give me a few minutes to call and find out how much it costs i am not sure it is that expensive. Well i have found out from the air port that it will cost 170dollars. Johnson
Me: That price sounds reasonable. Where will you be shipping her from and where can I pick her up? How soon can you send the puppy?
Well i will be shipping her from Douala international Airport Cameroon Victoria and i will prefer the pup to be delivered right at your doorsteps following the address you will give us. I can post the puppy in the next available flight if you are ready for her already because all her papers are intact as you will see them.
Me: That sounds great. Would you prefer MasterCard or Visa for payment?
Hello Jan Cameroon has a very poor banking system especially when dealing internationally so the best and most flexible method of payment will be through the use of the WESTERN UNION and immediately the you send the money i will pick it up and pay for the puppy's flight immediately.Here are my payment details
NAMES...................GEBVALA HENRY DINGA
So as soon as you wire the money let me know and send to me the MTCN control reference number so that i will get the money and pay for the flight. Thanks and have a great day. Johnson
Me: Johnson, you said the shipping cost will be $170. Why is it now $400? And you never did send pictures. And who is Gebvala Henry Dinga? I thought they were your puppies.
Jan, I am a good Christian busy with missionary work .I am giving the out absolutely for free because my job provides me with very limited time to spend with them. Dinga is family member who help me.The cost of shipping is $170 Here is picture of the puppy
Me: Uh, Johnson, I don’t believe that is a Bulldog puppy. I am only interested in Bulldog puppies. Are you all out of Bulldog puppies?
Jan, Here is picture of adorable bulldog puppies.All you have to do is pay for their transportation cost to you and nothing else. Tell me how many do you want of the puppies. Transportation is $170 I can post the puppy in the next available flight
Me: Johnson, I'm sure you wouldn't mind faxing copies of her AKC, CKC papers and the results of the DNA testing which you said she had so that I can verify them?
Amazingly, I never heard from Johnson again.