Bullmarket French Bulldog Breeders

Nigerian Puppy Scams Still Going Strong

Jan over at Poodle and Dog blog recently engaged in a round of emails with a Nigerian scammer who was attempting to sell her a Bulldog/Yorkie/Who the Hell Knows puppy. Thankfully, Jan was smart enough to know he was a scammer, but apparently some people haven’t gotten the memo yet, because victims are still falling for it.

From the Bismarck Tribune:

Toni Miller, 23, now is out about $850 after trying to get two Yorkshire terrier puppies shipped to her from someone posing as a missionary in Nigeria.

Miller saw an ad in the Bismarck Tribune classifieds last week for a $550 Yorkshire terrier puppy. No one answered the phone number listed, so Miller used the e-mail address listed, jacj@;games.com, to get more information.

The phone number in the advertisement actually is a local church’s fax number.

Well, that part is a new twist – apparently the scammers have gotten wise enough and well organized enough to start running local phone numbers in their ad. And a church number? That’s a neat way for them to add an extra layer of respectability onto their advertisement.

The “seller” e-mailed Miller back, saying the dog was no longer available, but a previous buyer may have some puppies available, as the man was a missionary who had been transferred to Nigeria suddenly and was worried about the dogs.

Miller e-mailed that person, supposedly named Jack Frazier Sneed, at jackfraziersneed@gmail.com. He told her, via e-mail, it would cost $500 to ship his two Yorkshire puppies to her in Bismarck. Miller wired the money to a shipping agent named “Roy Wallace.”

The puppies were supposed to arrive Tuesday around noon. But “Jack Frazier Sneed” e-mailed Miller to say there were problems in transit, the puppies were stuck at a London airport and she needed to wire $350 more. Miller wired that money, too.

I also see that they’re still running on the theory that if suckers will pay a little, they’ll also be willing to pay a lot – especially if you hit them with sad stories of the puppies being stranded at airports. At least in this case they didn’t resort to threats – in some scams, they’ve actually contacted ‘buyers’ and threatened them that if they didn’t pay more money to get the puppy released from the airport, they could face charges of animal abandonment. Ballsy, huh?

I am willing to bet that most people reading this already know all about the Nigerian puppy scams (which I’ve also called ‘phantom’ puppy scams), but here’s a re cap:

– The scammer offers purebred puppies, usually at ridiculously low prices. That should be your first clue – no one, and I mean no one, is selling a pure bred Bulldog puppy for under $1500 dollars (and cheap at that price). Ditto Yorkshire Terriers, French Bulldogs, or any other pricey purebred puppy. Here’s how to check – google your breed of choice, and see what the average selling prices are. If you find one for sale that’s less than 50% of that price (or even less), trust me – it’s a scam. The scammers prey on your initial greed – a puppy for almost nothing! Once they have you, they’ll take advantage of your gullibility, and you’ll be out hundreds – and sometimes even thousands – with still no puppy.

– The scammer will claim to be over seas (usually in Cameroon, Nigeria, Cote D’azure, or another African nation). If they themselves aren’t overseas, then either they have a ‘friend’ there who is sadly forced to sell off their puppies, or a relative there who has died and their family are selling their puppies to “good Christian homes”.

– Whoever has the puppies will almost always claim to be a Missionary. This ploy works on two levels – it is designed to make Christians more trusting (“Hey, I’m a Christian, and the person selling the puppy is a Christian, and one Christian would never scam another, right?”), and it’s also designed to make you feel sympathetic to the plight of a hardworking missionary, doing God’s work in a foreign country and now forced to give up their beloved pet. How could you not support them?

Since the seller was describing himself as a Christian missionary, Miller felt it was her duty to help him care for the puppies.

“I’m a Christian, too, so I just thought it would be helping out a fellow Christian,” she said.

– The scammer usually tells you that you can have the puppy for ‘free’, but you have to pay the shipping fee. The shipping fee is generally low – under $500. This low price is a dead give away – it can cost close to this amount to ship a dog across North America, let alone to get it from Africa to the US. The scammers, however, keep the price low to lull the victims into a sense of security. After all, it sure doesn’t sound like much money to spend to get such an expensive dog.

– If you’re foolish enough to send the scammers the initial fee, they won’t stop there – they’ll ask you for more money, saying that the dog is stuck in customs, or is sick and needs medicine. In many cases, the scammers have made second, third or even fourth requests, finally resorting (as I mentioned above) to sending threatening emails warning of FBI charges and of ASPCA involvement. They won’t stop until they’re certain they’ve gotten every penny possible out of you. In the worst cases, they mange to convince buyers to send them bank account information, which can lead to account fraud and even identity theft.

Be smart. Remember the golden rules – dogs don’t come free, missionaries don’t take puppies to Africa, and NEVER use Western Union to pay for a puppy.

14 replies
  1. Cait
    Cait says:

    You know, I always TRY to feel sorry for these people, and I pretty much always fail, because a small application of common sense really would solve the whole problem. Overall, I figure it’s a not TOO expensive lesson in Real Life.

    Hey, they got off lighter than Madoff’s dupes!

  2. Missy
    Missy says:

    Hey I would just like you to know this is very true. Just last week we saw a ad in our local paper for english bull dog puppies. They wanted someone to adopt them. As this man, Steven Dohmen, was a missionary. He said that his family recently sold their home and are on a missionary. They took their dogs not knowing the weather was bad for them. As he gave us information about all this fake stuff, we fell for it being that i’m catholic. I felt that this man wouldnt lie to me. I at first refused to send the money, but me and my boyfriend talked about it. He is like it’s really cheap so let’s send it anyways. Well today we found at that a man said we were scammed. He told us to just report it to our local police and everyone else. As we only sent $350 and after that they said. ” The puppies are stuck at a london airport because the federal government stopped the shipment. He said to continue shipping we needed to pay another $500. I told my boyfriend this is crazy no way. As soon as i told the man of the shipping company, fred lampard, that we would contact the federal government of Nigeria they stopped all the emails and the man also stopped emailing. Since we have no way to get the money back i just wanted to warn everyone.. DONT FALL FOR ANY OF IT.

    also there is a real tudor freight but that is in England. They have no other offices. They also do not ship puppies.

    The email address they use:
    steven dohmen@ive.com

    Steven dohmen
    fred lampard

  3. Toni
    Toni says:

    I encountered another one of these frauds just last night/today, this man going by the name of Joseph Garry (josegarry66@yahoo.com) claiming he and his wife took their 12 wk old yorkie to cameroon when they were suddenly commissioned to go there. I was suspicious enough to google it before I even emailed him back after the initial response and found this to confirm my suspicions, I hope anyone else who comes across it will do the same! What a scam…

  4. Emily Rose
    Emily Rose says:

    I recently got an email from a Billy Cowan From Nigeria suspiciously for YWAM trying to sell me the “adorable Female Tea cup Yorkie (puppies)and male Tea cup Yorkie are still very much available for adoption.They are 17weeks old, the male Tea cup Yorkie named (Aiden) weigh 2.5lbs and the Female Tea cup Yorkie named (nana).” He said he was going to send it through Tudor Freight International and cam up with a secret pass word “God.” He asked me to send the money to Fatai Abiose at 43 TT Close, Ajah Lagos, Nigeria 23401. It sounded fishy to my husband. So, thank you God that I did not send the money. Do not fall for this scam!!

    VILSON says:

    omg this is sso true,, cant beilive low lifes these days (EMILY ROSE) i got the same exact email with the same exact pasword as stated “god” // dont fall for this bull its all abt gettin money out of youre pocket and leaving you strended..BEWARE people BeWaReEEEE ..

  6. rachel
    rachel says:

    i know they where trying today to get me to buy 2 Yorkie for the shipping from Africa they are good they act so real im so mad now!!

    WILLIAM says:

    Hi my name is Will and I know what you are talking about I got scammed by a so called Daniella Holmes from 234 Palm Ave Largos, Nigeria{dannycarez@hawamail.com}.I went on a website terrificpet.com and saw a pair of English Buldogs for sale in Upper Saddle River for 300 each I figured thats cheap so I replied I got an email saying that they move to nigeria and that her and her family couldnt take care of them because of missionary work was getting busy so she was willing to give them to me if i paid the shipping for them and it would be 500 each puppy so i agreed and then she had a carrier cal me for money and they asked me to wester union it and i did this was the first time i got scammed and also my last then the carrier told me that they needed 2000 more that the puppies got stuck in custom in mississippi usa and if i wanted them out of quaritine from the customs office faster to pay the money to MR MARCUS JOHNSON .the carriers name was Chisom Ihemme from Lagos Nigeria SO JUST TO LET PEOPLE KNOW DONT TRUST ANYBODY UNLESS YOU MEET THEM FACE TO FACE WITH THE PUPPY

    • frogdogz
      frogdogz says:

      Veronica, while I’m sorry that this happened to you, if you’d done a simple Google search on the email address nancywilliams07@gmail.com you’d have come up with page after page of free ads – and reports from other people who had been scammed by the same person!

      I can’t believe anyone is still falling for this scam – and I can’t believe that there still people out there who don’t know how to do basic background research.

      Google is your friend, people!

  8. jim
    jim says:

    Yeah mr. John ray a missionary in Nigeria just got me for $400 last night . Said he had two English bulldogs all I needed to pay was half of $800 shipping . We me being a Christian and him supposively a missionary I thought it may be true . Well this morning I was supposed to receive shipping info I was surprised to find he wanted close to $2000 more for paperwork, quarantine, needless to say I am glad I done a little research before sending more money again his name was john ray email johnray670@hotmail.com watch out for him

  9. Jolene
    Jolene says:

    My daughter just about fell for this story too.. missionarys in Camroon trying to sell their french bulldog puppy via western union and they would ship the puppy.. I told her it sounded fishy to me… then i did a french bulldog puppy scam google search and found this page..thank you everyone who posted. Sorry for those who realized too late =(

    the email address they used was saltlakes9@gmail.com so beware and add that one to your list

    • Jolene
      Jolene says:

      also wanted to add they even offered for her to pay half before and the other upon arrival… If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

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