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Thursday, 30 January 2014

"Adopt a puppy scam" is a new twist

This offer to adopt a puppy for free is a scam:

From:     Shirley Eason shirleyeason5@gmail.com
Reply-To:     shirleyeason5@gmail.com
Date:     30 January 2014 09:29
Subject:     Adopt this little puppy @ 0$

My name is Shirley Eason, Presently diagnosed of acute brain injury from a ghastly car accident that led to lost of my son and husband 3 years ago.

I'm looking for a good heart fellow to take over my 9weeks English Bulldog,right now I have been ask to move to Aged home. ofcourse I'm not allowed to take webster.

I'm willing to send Webster overseas if you can convince me he's on good hands.

I want to share the love I have for Webster across the world to anyone who have passion for animals.

You will receive more photos on response to this mail.

Hugs and kisses from a beautiful heart

Warm Regards
What's on the end of those Sendspace links? Well, indeed there are a couple of pictures of a puppy.

So.. it's a free puppy? What could possibly go wrong? Well, lots..

Let's do a bit of detective work starting with finding the origin of those photos. A trip to Google Images followed by a click of the camera icon allows you to upload a picture to do a reverse image search. We can easily find a match for that photo here and here, and it turns out that although the dog really is called Webster he's not up for adoption at all, but is for sale by a reputable and unconnected party who has had their photo stolen.

So, what is the scam? Bearing in mind that poor old Webster is worth a couple of thousand dollars but the scammer is asking for nothing? Well, as with all advanced fee fraud scams there are going to be up-front expenses that aren't mentioned, such as shipping fees, vet bills, certificates and all sort of other things.. and once the victim has paid all the money then Webster will still not turn up because of course the scammer doesn't actually have the dog to begin with.

Now, we're pretty sure that you won't try to acquire a dog advertised by spam.. but if you are, well.. don't.

Incidentally, the origins of the email appear to be a computer at (Charter Communicaations, Tennessee) via a server at (ommailex1.iiiinc.com) although it is unlikely that the owner of either of those two systems is aware of the scam either.

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