For Immediate Release
July 28, 2010
Senior Assistant Attorney General
James T. Boffetti
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney announced today that consumers should be aware of classified advertising scams targeting dog lovers, also know as the Puppy Scam. This scam has circulated over the years and has begun to resurface again, targeting New Hampshire residents.
The scam involves the promised delivery of a puppy when the purchase price and all requested fees such as vaccination and shipping costs are paid, when, in fact, the seller does not have any puppies for sale. Some scam artists use fake or stolen photos in their ads, claiming they are pictures of puppies for sale. The advertisement instructs prospective buyers to wire money in advance and refers them to a money wiring service such as Western Union or Money Gram. In other cases, the scammer sends a check or money order to the victim in advance to cover shipping or insurance costs. They typically send too much money and instruct the victim to forward the overpayment by wire transfer. Of course, their method of payment turns out to be fake, which the consumer only discovers after wiring the money to the scammer. When the puppy is not delivered, the buyer discovers he/she has been scammed and all attempts to contact the seller are unsuccessful. In the latest incarnation of this scam, the dog owner claims to be a missionary serving in Africa.
In order to avoid these types of scams, the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Bureau offers this advice:
If you have doubts as to whether an advertisement is legitimate, call the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau at (603) 271-3641 or 1-888-468-4454. For more information on consumer fraud you can also visit the Bureau's Web site at http://doj.nh.gov/consumer/.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301