– At pups4sale, we are always on the alert for new tricks being used by puppy scammers to steal money from unsuspecting Australian puppy buyers. Thanks to an enquiry from a suspicious buyer, who was using the atrocious site known as Cracker, we have come across the latest evolution in the scammer’s toolbox – fake driver licences.
Here’s how it works: The unsuspecting buyer is unwise or unaware enough to visit a site either run by the scammers themselves, or one that is totally compromised by them. As we have repeatedly warned on the Australian Puppy Scams Hall of Shame, most classified sites in Australia that run puppy ads fall into one of the above two categories, with a comprehensive list detailed here.
The buyer then starts corresponding with the scammer, as did the buyer who contacted us regarding the ad featured in this Post. She asked us to check it out, which we were only too glad to do. To us, it was immediately obvious the ad was fake, but what was hugely disturbing was the scammer had supplied a fake NSW Driver’s Licence in order to convince the buyer she/he/it was for real. We’ll get to that part in a moment, but as a refresher, here are some of the most obvious signs that this ad is a fake:
Now to the fake ID issue. We’ve included a copy of the Driver Licence the scammer is using in this particular scam, and as you will see it’s quality is not too bad. To the amateur eye it looks quite legitimate, but professionals can easily spot it is fake.
One of the first things we noticed was the ethnicity of the woman in the photo did not match that of the name used. That is not enough in itself to say it is a fake Licence, but it does raise legitimate suspicions.
Secondly, the “Licence” is issued in NSW. Given the scammer states in their puppy ad they are located in Perth, this raises even more suspicions.
Put the above two points together with the obvious fake aspects of the ad itself provides ample evidence that here we have a scammer hard at work, trying to steal money from Australian puppy buyers. Luckily for the lady who contacted us and asked us to check the ad out, she took our advice and moved on instead of sending her money to the scammer for a puppy that doesn’t exist.
But why would the scammer go to the trouble of creating a fake Driver Licence in the first place? The answer lies in their never-ending quest to make their prey think they are legitimate. The days of using titles such as Dr, Barrister, Pastor, Reverend and so on are pretty much over, so they need a new angle. Using one of the many commonly available photograph and document editing programs such as Adobe Photoshop, scammers can easily create an electronic version of a Licence (such as the above), then supply it to the buyer to convince them the transaction is legitimate and not a scam.
So please be aware that fake IDs – such as, but not limited to Driver Licences – are going to be used more and more by scammers as part of their efforts to convince prospective victims that they are legitimate breeders.
If you have seen this latest tactic already in use, please feel free to comment below, as the more intelligence we have to supply our readers with, the less people will fall victim to the puppy scammers.