Tuesday, May 29, 2007

When Puppies Go Bad

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Detroit News: Puppies are latest commodity for Internet scams

And now for the latest scam from Nigeria -- puppies.
The Council of Better Business Bureaus and American Kennel Club today will issue a warning about fraudulent Web sites, MySpace postings and print ads asking people to help save puppies who are in desperate straits.
The sites and ads usually show adorable bulldog puppies that have become stuck somehow in Nigeria or other countries and are offered free to new owners. A variation is to offer the purebred, English bulldogs -- a particularly expensive breed -- at vastly discounted prices.
People who responded to the ads eventually were asked to send hundreds of dollars to cover expenses such as shipping, customs, taxes and inoculations on an ever escalating scale.
Some reported paying fees totaling more $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.

We've built up our defenses. We know better than to believe all those ads for Viagra...Cheap! We turn our nose up at red hot stock tips, Real Live Girls (thank God they're not Real Dead Girls), and even at flush Nigerian Princes in dire Straits. Now we have to face down adorable little puppy faces in our inbox! How will we do it?

Seriously, though, you have to wonder about anyone who would send money to one of these scams.

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