Pet lovers beware - there's a new scam in town.
If you thought those Nigerian scammers could not sink any lower, think again. It was reported today by WTAE.TV that there's a new scam making the rounds, and this time the scammers are praying on the good nature of pet lovers.
It's a simple enough set-up. Someone either emails or posts an ad (often local, so beware of Craigslist and MySpace) featuring a beautiful free puppy. Many reasons are given for the free giveaway, ranging from a poor environment to lack of funds to keep the little pup. The correspondance tugs on the heart strings like a professional harp player, hitting all the right notes. And then when you reply saying you'd like the free puppy, the con begins.
First, they'll ask for the hefty shipping fee to be sent, something like $160. If you bite, and send the fee, then all of a sudden the shots for the pooch will need to be administered. And guess what, they're not cheap. Before you know it, you've sent several hundred dollars to someone you don't know. Most likely the dog doesn't even exist, and cute pictures of helpless puppies are not exactly difficult to come by online (see main picture).
If you really do want to adopt a dog and give a homeless animal a good life, go to your local Humane Society or animal adoption center. They are legitimate, you'll need to pay a few fees for adoption, but at least you know everything is above board and the money is helping real animals. The people who commit these crimes are animals of an entirely different kind.
Main photo of a beautiful pup by Shuck . Thanks, it's wonderful.