– Of course it’s no surprise to the pups4sale team, and indeed many of our members, that the puppy scammers are always trying new tricks. The latest twist in their never ending quest to separate puppy buyers from their hard-earned dollars however is a bit different.
The new tactic works like this: When people contact the scammers via their fake ads, the potential buyers are being asked to supply ID details prior to being given the physical address where the puppies are allegedly located.
Now you may think this is such an obvious trap that no-one would fall for it. However don’t forget, the scammers are often quite clever at giving the air of legitimacy, both to their ads and their correspondence with potential victims. These people are professionals at what they do – regardless of the fact their “profession” is utterly evil. For example they will say things like “we are keeping our details private and only giving them out to people we are confident will give our pups a loving home”, and so on; spinning a plausible web of deceit.
.Once they gain the confidence of the victim sufficiently to obtain ID details, the scammers then move on to the next stage of the scam. This involves obtaining a “holding deposit” so the desired pup is not sold before the buyer arrives to inspect it. This “holding deposit” is of course sent by Western Union (AKA “The Scammer’s Friend) to somewhere in the third world such as Nigeria or Cameroon. Once the money is securely in their hands, the scammers provide a fake address to the buyer, who of course shortly finds out by trying to go there that the address doesn’t exist – or it belongs to a random person picked out of the White Pages who has no involvement in the scam whatsoever.
You may ask, what are the scammers doing with the victim’s ID details in the meantime? The answer unfortunately is plenty. Either the members of their gang will use the details to make a fake ID for themselves, or they will sell the details on one of the many “black-hat” forums that infest the internet, so some other group of scammers can use the information to create their own fake IDs. Regardless of who makes the fake IDs however, the purpose is of course to obtain money with them, by for example obtaining credit cards, loans and so on from legitimate credit providers such as banks. When the credit providers themselves find out they have been scammed, they place a flag against the name and ID details concerned – meaning Mr & Mrs Victim in Australia will have to fight an often long and expensive campaign with credit reference agencies to prove they are not scammers and had nothing to do with the scam in question – that’s if they ever wish to obtain credit themselves in future.
A real life example of an Australian family who came close to supplying such details to the scammers is shown on this Facebook Post. This family contacted us in response to an alert we posted about yet another classified site that is hosting scam ads. Fortunately this particular family did not get ripped off – but undoubtedly there are others who have been.
Of course, if the sites who allow fake ads to be placed on their pages would simply act to stop such scams, the scammers would have nowhere to go (except perhaps social media). Until hell freezes over – or until such sites clean up their acts (whichever happens sooner), please keep up to date on the puppy scam hall of shame, posted here. The list of sites it contains are those demonstrated to host puppy scam ads, and thus are the sites to avoid when looking to buy a puppy.
So, as always, please stay abreast of the latest tricks the scammers are using to separate you from your money online. Of course, when buying a puppy, stick to the sellers on pups4sale and you can be sure you won’t be sending either your money or your ID off to Africa any time soon. 😉