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Scammers Shopping for Victims

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A new e-mail-based scam is circulating in which puppies are offered to good homes for the cost of shipping them. While the cause may seem worthy, it’s actually a ploy to pull on your heartstrings and deplete your bank account.
Like international lottery schemes, secret shopping scams and others, this is yet another attempt to get you to fork over money upfront for nothing in return.
In the e-mail, the conartist claims that his grandmother, a puppy breeder, recently died and left him with a number of puppies of different breeds, none of which he can care for because of his hectic job. He asks the e-mail recipient to adopt one or all of them at no cost, except the cost of shipping. When asked about the puppies’ whereabouts, he claims they are in Oklahoma; however, the con-artist’s e-mail address suggests that he is based in Australia. He offers no evidence that he does have puppies available for adoption.
If you pay for the shipping up front, odds are that you will never see the dogs and never see your money again. Worse yet, by giving the con-artist your bank account or credit card information, he may not only steal your money, he might steal your identity as well.
Here are tips to avoid the scam:
1. Delete all suspicious e-mails and never open e-mail attachments from unknown sources.
2. Never give out personal information in response to an unsolicited e-mail. Doing so will make you vulnerable to identity theft.
3. Never give, send or wire money in response to an unsolicited e-mail, because once you hand over your money, you’re not likely to see it again.
4. Don’t let emotions cloud your good judgment. If an e-mail seems fishy, it’s best to trust your instincts and delete it.
If you believe you have been a victim of these scam, contact the Public Protection Department of the Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982.

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