Craig police warn about e-mail scam

Officials: Fraud involves sale or giveaway of dog

The Craig Police Department is advising local residents about an Internet scam involving “the sale or proposed giveaway of a puppy/dog,” according to a news release.

The scammers are using advertisements through e-mail, police reported.

“Interested citizens connect through e-mail and eventually receive pictures of adorable puppies or purebred dogs that the scammer indicates is available for a very low price, or is just being given away due to some unforeseen problem,” police wrote in the release.

In a recent report, the scammers claimed to be “researchers” living in a foreign country, where the climate is not suitable for the pet, and they were looking for a new home for the pet. Then, they offered to fly the animal to the nearest airport once the other person paid fees to a shipping company.

Generally, police wrote, such arrangements involve a third-party check that scammers will send to the person being targeted for the fraud. But police added that the amount is “far in excess” of the small shipping costs.

The scammers ask the person to cash the check, pay the shipping, and wire the excess per directions.

The result is that the check is counterfeit, and the scammer receives the legitimate wire transfer while the person defrauded loses money and never receives “the expected canine.”

“Victims usually receive contact only through e-mail and are asked to send payment via a Western Union wire transfer or money order,” police wrote. “This is a favorite payment method for scam artists because the money can’t be recovered.

“Be suspicious of any deal that sounds too good to be true — it probably is.”

For more information, call Sgt. John Forgay at 826-2366.

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