Thursday, May 10, 2012

Free Puppies!

Free AKC Registered Puppies!  What could go wrong?

When my debit card was stolen recently, it was used to charge on sites that take ads for dogs for sale.  And it is possible that the thief used this data to try to buy ads for a puppy scam.

What is a puppy scam?  There are many, according to the AKC.   But one common one is where someone offers a purebred dog for free, or for a nominal fee, because they are leaving the country, ill, or some other long-winded "story".

Again, walk away from "stories" - they usually are a sign of fraud.

So you go on a website, that you may have found through Google, because the site Search Engine Optimizes (SEO) the site so it appears first (Thanks Google!).   And you see this ad for a desirable purebred dog, along with the "story."

Of course, there is a catch.  There are boarding fees, or shipping fees for the airline, or kennel shots, or a vet's certificate, that are needed to send you the "free puppy" (which is no longer free) from Canada or wherever.

So you wire off the money as requested, and you get no dog.

It pretty much is a variation on the usual scams - offer a desirable consumer good for less than half the market value, and then, playing on the greed of the Mark, con them into sending small amounts of money by wire, that cannot be retrieved in any manner.

TANSTAAFL!  - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!  If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  And no one gives away things of value for free, even if they have a long-winded story.

And even if they were, someone in Canada could find a home for a $1500 purebred puppy, in Canada, in a heartbeat.   They ain't shipping him to Iowa...