...don't buy a dog from Nigeria. They don't exist!
A Public Service Message from Christus Vincit
This story from WJAR-TV Channel 10 in Providence RI:
A new take on the Nigerian scam is making the rounds.
NBC 10's Audrey Laganas reported that this one targets people who are looking to buy a puppy. The scam is advertised in the classified section of newspapers.
NBC 10 was alerted to the scam when a viewer said her son had lost $500 buying what turned out to be a bogus puppy.
The viewer said the scammers sent her son a photo of the puppy allegedly for sale.
According to the viewer, the English bulldog puppy was advertised for $500, which is well below the market rate for the breed.
When her son answered the ad, he was told the dog belonged to missionaries in Africa who wanted the dog to go to a good home. He was asked to wire money to Nigeria so that the dog could be flown to the United States.
He sent the money, but it turned out the dog did not exist.
This is the latest of the so-called Nigerian scams. The scammers operate in Nigeria and outside the jurisdiction of U.S. laws. The scam is happening all over the country, Laganas reported.
Here are the red flags to watch for:
Beware of ads for unusually inexpensive pets.
Beware of a seller who asks you to wire money.
Never wire money to someone you don't know.
There is no way to recover money once you have sent it.
Here are things I usually try to avoid in my e-mail:
- People making off to be barristers from some third world country trying to tell you that you have a fortune coming.
- People trying to sell Viagra at discount prices (illegally, mind you - common sense tells you that it's a prescription drug).
- People trying to show videos of teens committing lewd acts with farm animals (or any kind of porn for that matter).
- Anything with substitute characters such as rectangles and other odd shapes (wingdings) in the text.
- Anything with a parenthesized number in the subject line.
- Anything with a subject line that says Re: Your Account, or Re: Hi, or Re: Hello.
- People who write to me in broken English or mis-spell words.
There are many others, but you get the idea (I hope). In a nutshell, think of this one simple rule: WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT! If you don't know the person you're getting an e-mail from, put it in your spam folder. If you don't have a spam folder in your e-mail account, create one. If your e-mail account doesn't support a spam folder, find an e-mail account that does.
The ad in question was a newspaper classified. If the newspaper is a tabloid type (e.g., Enquirer, Weekly World News, Star, etc.), the ad is very likely to be too good to be true. Yeah - just as much a crock as the articles the reporters write.
Now, I know there are many who read this and many other Catholic-themed blogs who also have enough common sense to avoid such e-mails and ads. However, let's do our part and pass this message along to those who don't know any better.
WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!