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Puppy for Sale-Advance Fee Fraud

Nigerian scammers are using puppies as bait in a new scam targeting Western Australians.
Scammers are advertising a puppy for sale in newspapers or online and provide an email address as a contact point.When a consumer responds to the advertisement, the seller explains that the dog is in Australia (or overseas) and the owner has been transferred to West Africa to work for the United Nations. The seller requests that payment to be sent by wire transfer to Nigeria and says the dog will be shipped to the consumerís address. However the puppy never arrives.

The puppy being advertised is either an English bulldog or a Yorkie with an asking price of $500 or $700. The puppy is supposedly home trained and good with children.

In one case, a regional consumer wired $500 but no dog arrived. He was then told there had been a shipping problem and was asked to send a further $100. When he still didnít receive his puppy, he asked a friend to pretend to be a buyer and contact the seller. His friend was told the puppy was still available.

This is a typical advance fee fraud or Nigerian scam where the victim is persuaded to advance money. These scammers are looking for new and innovative ways to get people to respond to their schemes.

Consumer Protection has been in contact with a number of newspapers to alert them to the scam.

WA ScamNet advises consumers to be cautious of purchasing goods sight unseen from strangers, especially if they request money be sent overseas via wire transfer.

Advance fee frauds originated in Nigeria but have since been adopted by scammers worldwide. One of the most common advance fee frauds reported to WA ScamNet is fake overseas lottery wins.

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