Friday, December 22, 2006

The "Free Puppy" Scam

Lately there have been ads popping up here and there on the internet, advertising "free puppies" in various purebred breeds. The ones I've seen so far include malteses, yorkies, and bichon frises.

The scammers use free email addresses that aren't easily traced, such as yahoo or hotmail. But they all say the same thing when you write to them inquiring about their offer:

Hello ,
thanks for contacting us for our lovely yorkie puppies for Christmas. i have 3 females and 3 males. They are completely housebroken and very obedient and are willing to do just what you ask them to do.

"OK, Rover, go make me an omelette." Wow, these puppies are unusual! Does this mean they're already trained to lie down, roll over, play dead? Well, let's read on...

They are Potty and Paper trained already. they are updated with their shots. and have been dewormed. they are just 12 weeks old and are presently weighing 1.3 pounds and are expected to weigh 4.9pounds at full growth. they are 1.4inches grown now and will grow to a maximum of .5inches. thier parents weighed 5.1 pounds.

So far, so good. Incidentally, English was obviously not this person's first language, but that can also be said for many kids in our highschools today. And what the heck, we want a puppy, right? So who cares?

we personally raised my puppies and trained them. we raised them alongside little children and other household pets like monkeys and cats. so they are very playful and friendly with kids and other household pets. they do not bark a lot. they are very calm and give good company .

Well, then this is what I've been looking for! It's really damned hard to find puppies that have been raised with monkeys, so I'd have to say this just put him at the top of my list.

They will obviously be a great addition to your family for Christmas i am located in CAMEROON. so we will be shipping from CAMEROON coz we have been doing so successfully. I ship using a direct flight from Cameroon to the u.s which takes just 5hrs maximum.

Ah, there's the kicker. These unusual, well-behaved, pre-trained, monkey-raised puppies are from Cameroon. I should've known there was a catch. Obviously we couldn't raise such quality animals in the U.S.A. Now, here's where it gets really interesting:

I use a plane to fly the puppies and perfect PET-CARE services are given to pets during flight. your puppies will come along with all health records,registered papers,playing toys, and a booklet written by the CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY which teaches you how to bring up your puppies.

Oh thank goodness! We wouldn't want godless puppies, and I've always worried about that. I've often said "What if I buy a new puppy and it turns out that it's Muslim? How will we fit the Muslim faith into our household? I already am swamped with the standard Christian holidays and traditions!" But now I can rest easy, knowing that it's a Christian puppy and I'll even get Christian instructions that come with him!

it also includes their food menu.

Now this has me really intrigued. I can imagine all sorts of things that this Uber Puppy requires: Lobster? Caviar? Dinner at eight?

we are willing to grant to any one who gets our puppy a lifetime guarantee.this will ensure your puppy"s health for atleast 10yrs. all these will be in the crate in which your puppy will be shipped in. this is a special ex-mas offer for thoe who are chritians and can take good care of our puppies.

Note that it's an ex-mas offer. Is that like "anti-Christmas"? And only "chritians" can qualify for these puppies (just in case you hadn't figured out that they're trying for a strong Christian slant in the last couple of paragraphs.) They're really pile-driving their point home. Apparently they're under the mistaken impression that we're truly a Christian nation, when we're an amalgam of many different faiths (or lack thereof).

your puppies will arrive you safely and in good shape. i will like to know also the sex you are interested in. what you will need to get one of our lovely yorkie babies, is to promise me that you will take good care of them as well as love them coz I will never like them to suffer. Then you will have to provide for the shipping fee for your puppy. i will also like to get your detailed contact address as well as closest airport to your location. The shipping and carrier fee costs $175 if you comply with the above then get back to me.


Here we have finally arrived at the heart of the matter. The "free" puppies are really $175, because they're being mailed from Cameroon. And obviously nothing will arrive. If you're lucky, they'll send a stuffed toy.

What worries me is that there are always new scams cropping up. In other countries, there are entire offices devoted to sending out scam emails and figuring out new ways to fleece the American public. They often see it as a patriotic duty: "We're conning the stupid Americans!" It's not only despicable, it's also lucrative because there are always enough people that bite.

This particular scam is new enough that it may initially generate a lot of funds for these scammers before word gets out. I wonder what is next? I'd like to see a scam that advertises a hit-man service for mother-in-laws. It would be very entertaining, and might enrich some fantasy lives.

P.S. If you want to read about a similar scam (most of them seem to come out of Nigeria) then read this funny and interesting story about the Scammer Who Got Scammed.


Old Man Rich said...

Heh. What sort of fool gets a dog shipped from cameroon.
Im just going to fly out there and collect it myself, just as soon as my Nigerian lottery win comes through. Expect it any day now as I have paid the $159 admin charge.

Eddo said...

Haha. Steve of replied to an email once for a Russian bride and someone actually responded back with pictures. So if I don't get married soon then one day I can send 2 grand to Russia and get me a bride.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Eddo, yeah, the bride scams are always entertaining. ;o)

Old Man Rich, *LOL* I hear those Nigerian lotterys are great investments.

Senor Caiman said...


A Gulfstream costs approximately 6k /hr to rent so the numbers certainly don’t add up.

I’m going out right now to trim palm frawns at the houses of elderly folks. Call me ole fashion.

Good catch.

Matt said...

Dude! CNN did an expose on this exact scheme. Some of the puppies have actually died of heatlh problems following delivery. It's an awful thing.

Worlwide, the illegal trafficking of animals (and women and children) is getting out of control.... So sad.

As always, you're just a ray of sunshine from the great state of Florida.

Scott said...

So bizarre. I can't believe that there are so many people out there who want to scam everyone out of their hard earned money.


uncle joe said...

I can send happy thoughts your way. 2 for $1.00.
Christmas special....

The Lazy Iguana said...

Cameroon puppy scam? Why not. You get what you deserve for trying to obtain foreign yorkies.

How do we know they are not terrorist operatives?

actonbell said...

Geez. There are so many scams out there--I hadn't heard about this one. It doesn't seem like one that would appeal to many people.

actonbell said...

OH, and that's a wickedly funny fart story!

QUASAR9 said...

Hi Saur,
there's this restaurant
where the food is free
you just pay $175.00 for service

there's this hospital
where the treatment is free
you just pay $10,000 if you want to get out alive

there's this university education system the uk has imported from the US
where education is free
they just charge you when you get a job - which is why doctors need to earn so much - they have their fees to pay - so we are not paying for health care - we are paying to enable student doctors to pay high tuition fees. I think I'm starting to get the hang of where Nigerians got their ideas for their scams.

PS - In Britain before we learnt the merits of the US system
We use to train doctors for free and University Education was paid for by the Tax payer - just the same. Except students didn't have the added pressure or burden of tuition fees or student debt - till they became tax payers.

And hey - I'd love to pay a hundred million dollars in taxes a year, just think how much I must be making. Maybe taxpaying should be worn as a badge of honour, rather than learning how to weasel out of paying a few bucks, making liars of all and sundry

QUASAR9 said...

And Saur kraut, I repeat myself

Wishing you Saur kid, the puppies and your loved ones all the best this Xmas season.

Peace, Love & Happiness

Badoozie said...

FREE CAR....MOTOR EXTRA....ok..i went off reading all about those scams and forgot where i

The Lazy Iguana said...

I posted a photo of my tree.

honkeie2 said...

a fool and his money soon part......i can sell siding to apartment dwellers

Emma Sometimes said...

well as long as the puppies don't come with their own full-sized bottle of shampoo then we are good, right?


Have a super Christmas, Saur!!

green said...

did the scammers ask that the $175.00 be sent via Western Union, too...

chosha said...

Scammers suck. Worth noting through, that many of the scams that appear to come from Nigeria, don't. The organisation I work for is cooperating with regulators from many other countries to stop spammers, and poor Nigeria definitely gets more crap than it deserves. :)

We've actually moved to the stage now where spammers are starting to be prosecuted. I hope every government gets onto it soon, because we can't see the back of them soon enough.

Anonymous said...

I've had this stuff pulled on me too in regards to the sale of a vehicle. The seller stated that he was in East Bum you know what and that the vehicle would be shipped (free shipping of course) after funds were received.
I email the seller back and stated that coincidentally I resided less than 100 miles where the vehicle was located and asked if I could swing by to see the car in person the next morning. Needless to say, I had not heard from the seller since and the posting for the car was gone by the evening.
It's a shame that there are people in this country who are bigger suckers than these idiots.

Anonymous said...

There is a new scam to look out for someone selling a english bulldog is 13 weeks I wrote them asking about it and I also wrote to another listing about a maltese well it was the same person lol. They said that the bulldog comes with toys and all the vet papers and that I would have to pay shipping. I googled andlooked them up and found 5 pages and i think more of the listings i was like wow how do I report this, they even sent pictures lol

Anonymous said...

How about a $159 scam There really are some master con artists who specialize in deceiving people.

Anonymous said...

I am from the UK and ordered a puppy from liverpool. i was told that the breeder would deliver me the puppy in person and check my house etc. when it came to day of delivery (baring in mind i had NO IDEA of these previous scams going on world-wide) i was told to pay via moneygram to the research project in cameroon. i thought "ok, abit weird" but hey, this puppy was in the uk and the guy was going to send it to me personally. he told me he was on his way.
i then got an email saying that the dog was in need of transport insurance from the "delivery company" (that i was not aware of) i was told to pay a refundable deposite of £400 that would be given back to me when the puppy was delivered and the reason for me to pay this was due to red tape around the company. i was then told i needed a lisence to own the dog because it was from another country (even though i had been told it was from liverpool?!?!) that cost me another £1000,then it went down to £650 and finally £ this time i was sooooooo upset and my mother was yelling down the phone at these people and STUPIDLY we sent it because the people were VERY threatening. They said they would "get us" if we did not send them the money as they had our address due to the delivery.
all in all it has cost us over £1000 and i dont have my invisible dog or our money. SCAMMED! its not just you in america, its the stupid people of the WORLD! i feel the only thing to say about this is that it is DISGUSTING and needs to be stopped! i am horrified that it goes on and i feel sick at myself for being so blind in the first place. it is so easy to get sucked into these things, they are trained people who know what they are doing and will do ANYTHING to get your money.

Anonymous said...

id like to say that it not just people that are stupid that are atracted by this deal..when i was thinking of buying a puppy i always wanted it to be from my area so i desided to do an area search and got a few people. suddenly they were all from camaroun and they all had the same story and kept dodging all my reasent pic questions or my i can book the flight on my own question..finally some of them sent me some puppy pics and then i was sure this was a scam becasue the person that said they lived in delta bc canada ended up in camarrooon and the pic were fake. it looked real because it was with in a house with some messy stuff and a cell phone.i knw it was fake becasue i saw the exact pic for other random profiles, anyways even without a pic i would have knw it was a scam becasue it was all to unrealy and everyone sounded exactly the same with very few differences.i am glad i was smarter than that and didnt fall for the studip scam thing lol.

Keith said...

I just got one of these from Missionaries in Africa giving away free AKC registered yorkies, because the climate over there is not fit for them. What I don't get is that the author of the e-mail mentions his wife and 2 kids, yet he includes a picture of himself, his wife and 3 kids. In addition, he mentions the names of the puppies, "Adam" and "Eve", I guess because they are missionaries. However, the names of the pictures of the dogs are Timy and Simy. If Africa wasn't a big enough red flag by itself. How do people fall for such obvious discrepancies. Are scammers really that dumb, that they can't make their story believable with real pictures and supporting evidence...not to mention an english dictionary.

Anonymous said...

oh yes this is the letter I got from my response to an add that was listed as local to my home town..Thanks for contacting me regarding my puppies..........I have two still available to any one prepared to provide them with enough care and love, where they will be well spoil with all their need..........they are now 12 weeks old and they have very good temperament with kids and other pets,very playful love to play around with toys and kids,they are health guaranteed and AKC registered........they are up to date on all their shots and they will be coming along side with their health papers and vet records......They are called Nina and Dela and i am actually giving them out because they were always cared and looked after by my husband(smith) but with a heavy heart i lost smith and he was all I got ,i work with a global,broad-based health care company devoted to discovering new medicines, new technologies and n e w ways to manage health.smith died in an accident last months on his way back from work and i have very bad memories when i see these puppies around me,because they were always together with him since i am always busy in the laboratory..i really need to give them to someone who can really care and love them just the way smith used to..These puppies have been very lonely since smith passed away so the best thing i decided on as my colleague advised me was to send them to a loving home ...i really count on you if you can be there for them..I am located in Victoria Island in Cameroon and all you are going to pay is just for their flight ticket which will cost you only 110$ for one and 220$ for both puppies for me to fly the puppies to you .
Please may I also ask you a few questions?
1)...Where are you located?
2) you have kids? 3)...Can you also promise that you will take good care of them?
4)...How soon are you ready to have them home?
At least with this information,i will get to know better where they will be going to.......See their pictures below.Nina is the female puppy while Dela is the male puppy.i just hope you will love them.......I will also like you to promise me that you
will always send their pictures to me monthly so that i can see how they are doing in your home.......Below is an attachment of their most recent pictures for you to see.i will be waiting for your mail asap.. thanks and God bless you

Who dose something like this.. sick people with no E mail skills.


grammie said...

I had a friend call me this morning to tell me that someone was using one of my puppy pictures on an ad. I went in and looked and there it was and was definitely mine. I emailed the person to tell them to get my picture off their ad. They emailed me back and told me to "F CK MY MAMA". The person using the user name of Vivianjohn has many ads and all the pictures are of many different breeds. There are none of the pictures that have the same background. I will guarantee anyone that goes to this site that this person is a scammer. So warn your friends to be aware of the person using that user name or the email of as this person is a crook.

Anonymous said...

I had a friend who stumbled upon this scam, they were telling me about it and I said "it sounds scammy" and so I went to Google and did a search. Thanks for this blog, I've linked them to it. I also found the puppy pictures on Google images. You'd think they would go past the third page to steal pictures for their scams... haha.

Anonymous said...

I,too, was almost scammed but fortunately did look up on google.Puppies from Cameroon, fully house trained, husband died, yadayadayada.....You would think they would be a little more inventive. Told them that I was on to their scam and my private investigator daughter, (true) and I would actively pursue finding out how to stop them from stealing peoples money and breaking their hearts.