Troubleshooter

Couple scammed trying to buy puppies

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

William Brown and his girlfriend really wanted a French bulldog.

Brown said he thought he found the perfect match when he got a response from a breeder he emailed.

"They said the one they were looking at had just been sold to someone else, but they had two other ones that had just been adopted by a guy in West Africa," he said.

So, Brown was given his email address and they connected.

"He said that he had adopted them here and had been called on a mission trip in Nigeria and that he needed somebody to adopt the dogs back," Brown said.

Through email, the man referred to himself as a reverend who was serving God and humanity, and had no time for his babies, so he wanted to find his two French bulldogs a home back in the states. 

He was asking $600 for one, or $1000 for both pups. 

Brown negotiated and got the reverend down to $200 for one. All he had to do was Western Union the money, which he did, but then the reverend asked Brown for more money.

"He originally wanted the money for the first dog and then it turned into the money for the second dog and the money for the shipping and them getting stuck in Britain ... and it just kept going," Brown said.

Within 48 hours, Brown ended up wiring $1,150 for the two puppies. However, he still couldn't get them, because the reverend wanted more money.

"He said that they had got stuck somewhere in London, in an airport and said that they needed vaccinations and change of ownership papers to be clear for customs, to get into the United States," Brown explained.

The reverend then wanted another $1,000, and that's when Brown said he figured out that there were no puppies and he was out more than a grand.

Now, Brown wants to make sure no one else falls victim.

The best advice -- buy from someone local, where you can actually go and see the dog that you want and take it home with you.

When I talked with a breeder in the area, he said one red flag was the cheap price of the puppies at just $200. He said the typical price should be between $1,700 to $3,500 for one French bulldog.

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