Woke up early this morning, no idea why. I was perusing Facebook on my phone and noticed a post in one of my local resale groups that set off alarm bells. Someone with a very weird looking name had posted an ad selling a pug dog. The warning bells went off for me because:
1. The cadence of the words in the post seemed off.
2. The name of the person was odd – not in any discernible way, it just seemed like a scammer name.
3. There was no sob story about why the dog needed to be sold or rehomed.
Several people had commented on the post because the dog was a-fricki-dorable. I posted a warning that I thought it might be a scam. By the time I got to my laptop to search the pictures the post was gone. I decided to send an email to the original poster (it was easy to remember) and then do a little more research. Here’s what I found:
4. The email address (the portion before the @) was linked via Google search to a Facebook profile that is someone very obviously not in the same country as me, much less the same city.
5. The Facebook profile of the person who posted was linked to 89 Facebook groups, all of them resale groups of one type or another in various cities around the country.
6. While I was researching the person on Facebook the profile just POOF – disappeared.
The person who posted the listing has been in touch with me via email and informed me that her sick husband is in the hospital in someplace called Kirk wall? No idea what that is. BUT she is willing to send the dog to me via pet transport, at my expense, of course. Apparently the cost to transport will be $120 and she wants my home address, etc. to arrange the transport. Good way to get someone to come to my house and rob me, right?
In any case, these are the names and emails associated with the scam post:
Paulson Nuel (the Facebook profile that disappeared)
Chia Valdano (Messi Valdano) (the Facebook profile associated with the email address)
email@example.com – please do not email this person. This person is a scammer.
And here is a picture of the dog in question, just in case someone does an image search instead.
Don’t get scammed!
UPDATED (10:47 am): I had several lively exchanges with Chia Valdano about the dog. She insisted that she needed my name, address, phone number and email address and she would “take care of registration” and then make arrangements for payment of the transport.
I came back once asking her to give me the location of the dog and that I would arrange for transport since she was caring for her sick husband. No response. I then sent another email asking her if we could just come see and pick up the dog, and I would pay her $120 cash as long as the dog and my daughter got along well. No response. She had been responding right away but it has been about 3 hours and I sent her an email asking if she still plans to sell me the dog, but no response yet. I also sent another query to her from another email address and there has been no response to this one either. I guess she got tired of me making it difficult for her. Either that or it was past her bedtime in Nigeria.