Yahong Zhang of Omaha, Neb., recently lost $1,200 in a puppy scam. Zhang said he had arranged to ship two puppies to his six-year-old son after the boy promised to practice his piano lessons regularly. After ordering the Husky puppies through the site, www.huskieshaven. Com, he realized he had been duped. When Yahong finally stopped sending money, he was told the puppies would die. He says, “NEVER pay by money wiring, and NEVER pay for a puppy unless you’ve seen it in person.
Kanetria Hutcherson said that after her 10-year-old daughter’s cat disappeared, she searched the internet for a small dog to live in the family’s Oakland, Calif., apartment. On the site https://usa.global- free-classified-ads.com/, Hutcherson found a notice from what purported to be a family in Baltimore claiming they traveled often and needed a home for their two puppies. The ad included a photograph of a cute teacup Yorkie.
Hutcherson called the number on the ad, and the owner asked for a $195 shipping fee to transport the animal. Soon after wiring the $195 fee through MoneyGram, Hutcherson received an email appearing to be from Delta Air Cargo claiming the animal needed a special crate before it could be put on the plane. She wired an additional $240 after being told the payment was refundable.
The next day Hutcherson received an email saying that the dog had been transported as far as Oklahoma City, and she was instructed to purchase health insurance for the dog at an additional cost of $980. She asked why the payment had not been disclosed earlier and began suspecting she was being defrauded. At that point, the “seller” threatened to call the FBI and have her charged with animal abandonment. An email that appeared to be from Delta Airlines instructed her to send another $200 through MoneyGram to Cameroon, which she did.
A day later, scammers told her the dog was in New Mexico and instructed her to pay another $150 for food and water for the animal. She ultimately paid another $83 through MoneyGram after saying she could not pay the full amount. She was contacted the next day again and told the puppy was ill and needed to be quarantined—the new charge: was $1900.
Her tragic odyssey finally ended when she contacted Delta Air Cargo and learned she had been scammed. She filed complaints with the FBI and BBB.
By the time she discovered the ruse, she had spent $968 for what had been described as a “free” puppy, and she had no dog. Even after she complained to the FBI, the persistent thieves continued to contact her, asking for additional payments. She reports that her daughter often cried herself to sleep throughout the ordeal. Hutcherson, herself says she still can’t sleep because of the stress. She said she borrowed part of the money she sent and is having trouble paying her bills.
Mike Wilborn, a barber in Plainfield, Ill., barely escaped becoming a victim in a pet scam. He had agreed to pay $650 to buy and ship an English Bull Dog puppy for his daughter through the website darleyenglishbulldogs.com. Tipped by what they thought was a suspiciously low price, his daughter did an internet image search on the animal she was planning to adopt. She discovered the identical photo of the dog had been posted on an internet site eight years before. At that point, Wilborn contacted BBB to inform it of the fraud.
Olicia Bryant of Dallas, Tex., retired from the Postal Service and was looking for a puppy. She does not use the internet often, but she went online and found a puppy at www. premium-rottweiler. com. After texting and emailing, she sent $702 through MoneyGram to the “breeder” in Worthington, Ohio, for
the dog, shipping, and a crate. The next day she received a call from a “second company” saying that she had bought the wrong crate and would need to pay another $1000 for a new one, but this money would be refundable. She then told the fraudsters that she knew it was a scam and would report it. She then filed complaints with MoneyGram and BBB.
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