Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Toronto Unmasks Puppy Scam

TORONTO, April 2 /CNW/ -
The Toronto Humane Society is warning the
public that an advertisement which appeared in a
local free daily newspaper offering
a female Yorkshire Terrier for sale appears to be a scam.
The ad, with theheadline "Female Yorkie Terrier Puppy"
and the sub-headline "Sami is so sweet
and lovable" appeared in the Monday, April 2 edition
of 24 Hours, and may have also appeared elsewhere.
The only contact info offered was an

"I saw the ad," says THS senior communicator
Lee Oliver, "and thought it
was odd that there was no phone number or address,
so I sent an e-mail asking
for particulars. I was sort of expecting to find a puppy
mill, but instead I came across a pretty
obvious scam."

The response, in broken English, indicated
that for $500 the dog's owner
would ship the "AKC-registered" 10-week-old
"housebroken and potty trained"
pup from her new home in Nigeria,
where the seller was recently transferred by the
United Nations to work as the head of public relations,
to anywhere in the world.
The $500 price tag included all shipping,
handling and insurance.

In the reply the dog's name inexplicably changed
from Sami (in the ad) to Suzzy(in the e-mail).
Versions of the ad have shown up in the Prince George,
B.C., on at least one online classifieds website and in the
Cayman Islands. In the Caymans, police have gone so far
as to issue warnings to citizens not to fall for the overseas fraud.

"I imagine most people are smart enough to see
right through this," notes
Oliver. "But just in case you're tempted by such
an ad, just remember that
whenever you come across a deal that's too good
to be true, odds are it's,
well, too good to be true."

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