Adopt A Puppy

Dog lovers beware! That “free” puppy could cost you thousands of dollars.

Unlike most species of email fraud “adopt a puppy” fraud appeals to the victim’s better nature by providing a chance to rescue a puppy.

Everybody loves puppies right?

On the other hand, since the puppy to be rescued is usually of some desirable breed and therefore might be worth several hundred dollars, the victim’s motivation might still be greed.

Either way, there’s no such thing as a free puppy (at least not from some stranger that emails you out of the blue).

Here’s a typical example:

Subject: ADORABLE YORKIE PUPPY FOR ADOPTION

From: “Nicole Micheal” <nicolemicheal@gmail.com>

To: [empty]

Hello,

My name is Nicole Micheal, My husband and I are both on a Christian Mission to Africa and I came along with my Yorkie Puppy. After a while i noticed that the African weather is not good for the puppy and i have not been able to take good care of her the way i always do because of my Job. I need someone to adopt her and take care of her the way i always do. If you can take care of her do send me a reply and i will email you her pictures. I hope to read from you. God bless.

Warm Regards

Notice the that subject is all caps. This is a dead giveaway for email fraud. Also, the “To:” field is empty indicating that this message was probably sent to a whole bunch of potential victims using Bcc.

The part about being “on a Christian Mission to Africa” is very common (although it’s not always Africa, the location varies according to the location of the scammer).

This is a twofer for the sender:

  1. The part about being on a mission ropes in Christians (playing on religious faith, especially Christianity, is a common tactic in the spam playbook).
  2. The location of the mission explains why you have to send money to Africa or the Australian outback to rescue the puppy.

As frauds go this one is fairly simple. Basically, if you respond to the email you will be informed that the owner of the puppy can’t afford to send it to you so you’ll have to give them some money.

Depending on the creativity of the scammer the first payment may be seized by the government and/or pirates so you’ll have to send some more but the puppy really wants to live at your house.

They will do whatever they can to keep you on the hook but they will NEVER send you a puppy.

If you really want a free puppy, we suggest you get to know somebody with a pregnant dog. Preferably somebody that lives near you so you can go pick it up in person 🙂

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