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Lord Gordon-Gordon, robber of the robber barons, 1871
Nigerian Bulldog Scam
image The latest in the long series of what are known as 'Nigerian Scams' is one featuring bulldog puppies.

Three red flags went up when Mindy Gorman enquired after a $500 bulldog advertised on the Savannah Morning News website. When she emailed the sellers, they replied with an announcement that the puppies had been sold, but:

"... You're lucky to have mailed at this time because the puppy has just been placed on adoption by one of my customers, who went on a veterinarian work transfer with the West African veterinarian commission Lagos Nigeria, West Africa. He is giving the pup up for adoption because he cant take good care of the pup due to his busy and tight state of work. All he wants is someone that's homely and with a good christian home to adopt this young and lovely human best friend."

Then there was the fact that the seller was in Nigeria. Thirdly, when she offered to pay to the transport of the puppy using Pay Pal, the seller, who identified himself as 'Pastor Harry', said that he would only accept a $500 payment sent to Lagos via Western Union.

Ms Gorman did not go through with the transaction, but another customer in the area lost $900 on the scam.

Jeff Thomas, with the Savannah office of the U.S. Secret Service, was unaware of the Nigerian puppy scam. But the details, including the offer of English bulldogs in a state where the biggest football mascot is the same breed, didn't surprise him.
"These folks are not dumb," he said. "They may do their homework in terms of regional interest. People here are nuts about Georgia football."
Thomas suggests puppy lovers approach any Nigerian offers with skepticism.


The website no longer runs the advertisement.
Categories: Animals, Con Artists
Posted by Boo on Mon Oct 09, 2006
Comments (398)
Perhaps this ad should be directed to Maryland's Republican candidate for the US Senate:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/26/AR2006092601457.html

We voters might find out how much he really does like puppies.
Posted by Phred22  in  Beltsville, MD  on  Mon Oct 09, 2006  at  11:36 AM
Well, at least the dog is a Christian. You wouldn't want to go adopting some infidel dog, now would you?
Posted by Big Gary  in  Dime Box, Texas  on  Mon Oct 09, 2006  at  01:34 PM
I don't believe in ANY email or website thing sent to me by a country outside of the us... or in the US.

And isn't it genearlly a bad idea to buy puppies from online? Because you sort of don't actually see the puppy until you get it? When we were looking locally for a pure breed samoyed puppy, the first batch was well... either not full bred, or else sickly as hell. All the papers looked right, and everything, so if we had just bought without looking (they advertised with pictures of the healthy parents) we would have gotten sickly puppies that looked inbred.

You know what's fun, though? Scam baiting. The last time I got an email for one of those money scams, I replied back in chatspeak about how I was oh so interested, but didn't understand how to send them the money. It's great if they actually respond, because they think they have a moron for awhile.
But maybe I just used to have long bouts of nothing to do when I didn't work?
Posted by Mera  on  Mon Oct 09, 2006  at  02:03 PM
It's interesting how Nigerian scams always seem to go for the Christian angle. Why would anyone care if a dog went to a Christian family or not?
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Mon Oct 09, 2006  at  02:29 PM
"All he wants is someone that's homely and with a good christian home to adopt this young and lovely human best friend."

The guy wants to give up the puppy to a 'homely' person? Why does he care what the person looks like?
Posted by Tah  in  Idaho (Yes, Idaho)  on  Mon Oct 09, 2006  at  04:13 PM
Tah, in British English "homely" is the same as American "homy" just another difference between the two.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Mon Oct 09, 2006  at  09:58 PM
Umm... not as far as I've ever known, Christopher.
Posted by Boo  in  The Land of the Haggii...  on  Mon Oct 09, 2006  at  10:19 PM
Just to butt in and clarify, homy = homey in British English meaning comfortable/cozy suited to home environment.

Homely on the other hand means either unattractive or unrefined when used to describe a person.
Posted by Merve  in  london/athens/istanbul  on  Tue Oct 10, 2006  at  02:50 AM
Just to butt in and clarify...

Oi! That's my job! If I may turn to the sOED...

homely, adj; ME

1. friendly, intimate; at home (with). Long arch. & dial. rare. ME

2. Of or belonging to a home or household; domestic. LME-L16

3. Kindly, sympathtic. Now Scot. (With deference to Boo)

4. Characteristic or suggestive of home, esp. in its cosiness, lack of formality etc.; unsophisticated, plain, simple, unpretentious. LME

5. Of a person, the features: plain or unattractive in appearance. Now N. Amer. LME

So, altogether a more complex story: the writer of the ad was not using the word incorrectly but rather in sense 4 - the same sense in which A. Wilson used it (as cited in the OED): 'She's a very nice, homely Lancashire body, but not stylish at all.' However, modern familiarity with the euphamistic meaning of 'homely' (as used by M. Twain: 'She is not beautiful; she is homely.') means that the non-perjorative use of the word is generally avoided by native speakers (when referring to a person) for fear of ambiguity - so this use marks the writer as a non-SE speaker or as a non-native speaker of English.

Note the interesting claim that 'homely' in the fifth sense is now considered an Americanism (presumably this is supposed to be a relatively recent migration). I'm not sure how far that would hold up to analysis - my feeling is that, used of a person, 'homely' would primarily be understood as derogatory sense on both sides of the pond... but then linguistically we are all Americans now (discuss).
Posted by outeast  in  Prague  on  Tue Oct 10, 2006  at  08:43 AM
In Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, the narrator is described as having an "honest but homely face." So at least one British contemporary of Mark Twain was using 'homely' with the same sense of meaning.
Posted by Phred22  in  Beltsville, MD  on  Tue Oct 10, 2006  at  02:57 PM
Boo, it might be a regionalism but I remember reading about the difference years ago. It was, if I rmeember, in a book on the differences between British and American English. The book was full of bits like lorry/truck, lift/elevator, flat/apartment and, of course, the famous "I'll knock you up in the morning." The phrase in British meaning I'll come around and visit or something similar and the American meaning is I'll get you pregnant. I no longer have the book, it disappeared during one of my moves.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Tue Oct 10, 2006  at  04:08 PM
Well, I don't know much about bulldogs, but I just about got scammed out of $900 for 3 chihuahua pups from...you GUESSED it! Lagos, Nigeria. I am SO thankful I saw a "Nigerian Scam" thread, which scared me. Then, I WISED UP and called "Western Union" and they were like "no, no, don't do it". Yeah, the Christian Missionary thing IS a nice touch! Boy, I feel like a MORON! But, at least I am not out $900!!!
(The one in the "scam alert" that I stumbled on was for Yorkie pups. Chihuahuas, Yorkies, Bulldogs...doesn't seem to matter as long as they can scam you out of your money!)

*Since I am only allowed 3000 characters, I will sum up a couple of the emails. My first email was from Marlyn, the "breeder", who informed me that Aemon was an "old client" of hers, that was now helping at a Christian mission in Nigeria, so she couldn't take care of the puppies... The first one I got from Aemon told me how cute and healthy the puppies are. And, she sent pictures. I will include part of it. There were a few emails in between and then, I will include ALL of her last email.

Hi,
Thank you for your interest in the puppies,i actually asked the breeder to help me put up an awareness as regards the adoption of these 3 adorable Teacup Chihuahua Babies,this babies are very healthy and i am willing to give them out to someone that can really take care of them,please i would want you to know that money is not the issue here, They are upto date on all shots/wormings,alongside shipping would be certified health certificates,complete vaccination and worming records,AKC registration certificate,rabies shots,USDA papers and their one year health guarantee,a puppy pack including sample of food they have been eating,a tube of nutri-calthay.They are all potty trained with excellent temperament.They have not been fixed for any reason. Shipping of one puppy to anywhere in the US and CANADA cost $300 each.
Best regards,
Aemon.
___________

Hello,
Shipping and handling would take a total of 10-14hrs to your location.As soon as payment is confirmed all their flight details and copies of paperwork would be forwarded to you by fax and also emailed to you as an attachement,please note that the hard copies would be coming with the babies.Shipping will be 12 hours after payment is made.For shipping kindly provide me with the following details.
-----Your full names and address.
-----Your day and night phone #.
-----Your fax #(If any)
-----Your proposed airport of delivery.
Note that this babies can as well be delivered to your door step,but it would attract an extral $30,though this is optional.
You could make payment via Western Union in any western union outlets or Grocery stores around you to:
Aemon Joseph
311 Road A Close House 1,
Festac Town.
Lagos.Nigeria.
+234-1-8512181.
Please remeber to email the MTCN #,SECRET QUESTION and ANSWER after you must have sent the funds.
Posted by JoJo  on  Fri Oct 13, 2006  at  03:37 PM
"They have not been fixed for any reason."

smile LOL LOL snake
Posted by Big Gary  in  Palo Pinto, Texas  on  Sun Oct 15, 2006  at  04:17 PM
An ad recently ran in the Montgomery Advertiser for bulldog puppies. When you emailed the lady, she responded with the same respones that were mentioned above. Except this time, it was a Rev. Gregory Rachuy. The money was to be sent by Western Union to his assistant Michael Phillips in Nigeria. Please watch out for these scams.
Posted by Amy Hancock  in  Troy, AL  on  Mon Oct 16, 2006  at  08:24 PM
I believe we are in the middle of the scam, we sent the money out and the dog is suppossed to be here tommorow. The guys name is Daniel Wolfer and we are sending the money to his lawyer Troy Benson. Does anyone have any advise on what we can do to try and get the money back or at least point the guy out to officials? This was money we shouldnt have spent. Any help, would be great.
-Chris
Posted by Chris  in  Rhode Island  on  Mon Oct 23, 2006  at  08:22 PM
Chris,
Did you send it through Western Union, then? I have their number, and you can call and report it to the Fraud Department. I also have numbers for the Attorney General (Mark Shurtleff) and the National Fraud Info Center. I will be thinking of anything else. I hope you get your money back. I can't BELIEVE people do this kind of thing!!! I hope these numbers help you, and any others who have fallen victim to this kind of thing!
Western Union (Fraud): 1-800-448-1492
Western Union (Regular Line): 1-800-325-6000
Attorney General (Mark Shurtleff: 1-801-538-9600
National Fraud Info Center: 1-800-876-7060
Posted by JoJo  on  Mon Oct 23, 2006  at  09:06 PM
Chris, since you have sent the money the FBI can legally get involved. Not that they expect to get anything done but they will try. A few years back I got the "you've won a lottery" email and I kept all the emails. I was pretty sure that it was a scam, but I was entering a lot of lotteries online at the time. Once I got the "You need to pay the Netherlands Nonresident tax before the money can be released" email I knew it was a scam. I took a copy of each email to the FBI but since I hadn't sent any money, the agent said they could do nothing. And even if I had sent money and they acted it was almost impossible to get the money back. Try Western Union, they might be able to stop the transaction but they get the money to the other person so fast it is probably too late. For anay criminal action to succeed there needs to be co-operation at the other end. Gues why Nigeria is used so often for these scams? Amsterdam is common also, for much the same reason.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Tue Oct 24, 2006  at  04:01 PM
Today the man tried to get me to send an additional 200 dollars to get the puppy out of Customs. I have contact Western Union and THe FBI at http://www.ic3.com and have placed my complaints. It doesn't look like we are going to get hte money back, but hopefully they can stop him.
-Chris
Posted by Chris  in  Providence, RI  on  Tue Oct 24, 2006  at  07:32 PM
Chris,
I am terribly sorry to hear that you probably won't be able to get your money back. I hope they catch him! Please keep us posted
JoJo
Posted by JoJo  on  Tue Oct 24, 2006  at  07:38 PM
lol i just got that guys email hes is calling himself jamejones now pastor jame jones that is lol he gave me his number what about taking legal action on this guy why has no one tryed who has been scammed by him? anyways his number is(+234)803-088-8925 might be fake i dont know but anyways give him HELL!
Posted by Chad  in  IL  on  Thu Oct 26, 2006  at  07:02 AM
YUP I WAS ALMOST A VICTIM TODAY FROM THAT DIRTY ROTTON SCAMMER!!! I EVEN SENT MY BOYFRIEND TO WESTERN UNION TO GET ME THE PAPERS TO FILL OUT AND I WAS ON MY WAY TO DROP THEM OFF TO SEND THE DOE...BUT THANK GOD WE DID SOME RESERCH BEFOR WE WALKED OUT THE DOOR... I WAS LOOKING TO BUY A BULLDOG PUP AND HE WAS SELLING IT FOR $500 FOR A MALE AND $600 FOR A FEMALE...I CAN'T BELIVE THAT $%*#!%* I AM SO PISSED..I AM GOING TO DRAG OUR EMAILS ON FOR AWHILE LONGER AND SEE WHAT HAPPENES FROM THERE..BUT WE DID BUY A PUG FROM A WONDERFUL FAMILY....OH AND HE WENT BY THE NAME OF PASTOR WILLIAMS AKA Tunde O Williams .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) THATS THE EMAIL ADDRESS HE WENT BY AND THE FIRST EMAIL ADDRESS I ORIGINALLY EMAILED FIRST AND THAT PERSON SAID I am really sorry because i have just given out our last puppy and Would not have another puppy until begining of the next year 2007.


But l would say you're lucky to have mailed at this time because the same puppy has just been placed on adoption by one of my customer who went on a veterinarian work transfer with the West Africa veterinarian commission Nigeria ,West Africa. He is giving the puppy up for adoption because he cant take good care of the puppy due to is busy and tight state of work. All he wants is someone thats homely and with a good christian home to adopt this youngs and lovely human best friend. He will give you a full details,pictures of puppy and the fast shipping arrangements you are assured for the quality breed because the puppy has a Current vaccinations,Vet Exams.,Health cert. and guarantee (1yr),potty trained and home raised and socialized for tremendous attitude, excellent temperament, super trainabilityand has that special people pleasing personality.


He has an incredible high rate of learning with a delightful elegance of structure and a beautiful breed type and with CKC,AKC,and FCI Registries.He is offering the female puppy for $600 only and also offering the male puppy for $500 (shipping not included)if you are able to email him via:p.williams01@yahoo.com l am sure you would be lucky to have this puppy in your home,and if you have any question,we will be glad to provide you with answers.
Thanks.
Juliet
AND HER EMAIL ADDRESS IS .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
BUT WHAT I CAME UP WITH IS THOES TWO EMAIL ADDRESS IS THE SAME PERSON...BECAUSE I EMAILED JULIET FOR THE LAST TIME AND ASKED HER "I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE THIS ISENT A SCAM AND DO YOU REALLY KNOW PASTOR WILLIAMS AND THANKS FOR THE REFFURAL" AND NOW I HAVENT GOTTON ANY EMAILS BACK FROM EITHER OF THEM SO I DO THINK BOTH EMAIL ADDRESS ARE ONE PERSON....JUST BECAREFUL EVERYONE!!!
Posted by cheryl  in  WINNIPEG,MANITOBA,CANADA  on  Sun Oct 29, 2006  at  10:57 PM
OHHH AND I DONT KNOW IF THIS IS USEFUL TO ANYONE BUT THIS IS HIS ADDRESS WHERE I WAS SAPPOSE TO SEND THE MONEY ORDER TO
Name Of Reciever: Tunde O Williams
Address:Address........11 Church street,
City..........Maryland
State............Lagos
Country.........Nigeria
Zipcode.....23401
I DONT KNOW IF IT'S FAKE OR NOT, BUT HIT HIM FOR ME TO IF IT IS.....
Posted by cheryl  in  WINNIPEG,MANITOBA,CANADA  on  Sun Oct 29, 2006  at  11:04 PM
All I have to say is watch out for this one as well. You have to agree to his terms before you see pictures of the puppies. Give me a break!

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) [mailto:rrosedave@yahoo.com]
Sent: November 1, 2006 2:10 PM
To: Sheila Willis
Subject: RE: Chihuahua Puppies for Adoption

I have their pictures,but I will send them to you as soon as e have agreed on the terms and conditions.

Sheila Willis <candlewix_2005@rogers.com> wrote:
Do you have pictures of the pups? I live in Canada not US.

Sincerely,

Sheila Willis
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
________________________________________
From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) [mailto:rrosedave@yahoo.com]
Sent: October 30, 2006 4:07 AM
To: Sheila Willis
Subject: RE: Chihuahua Puppies for Adoption

My own case is a different ball game.
I am really willing to give them away as soon as possible to whoever I conclude plans with.
If you are really ready to have them,just let me know so that I will give you the conditions,so that the puppies will leave here for USA as soon as possible.
Are you ready?

Sheila Willis <candlewix_2005@rogers.com> wrote:
What are the stipulations? You say you will adopt them out for free? I would like to see pictures of the puppies. We have a loving home and already have a small pup that could use a friend, she is only 15weeks old. The pup would have to be a male as mine does not get along with the same sex. I had someone before try to get me to send them money for sending me a pup but I quickly found out that it was a scam. So if this is what this is please don
Posted by Sheila  in  Puppy Scams  on  Wed Nov 01, 2006  at  04:03 PM
Hi Cheryl,

That same person tried to scam me via email, even sending me pictures which I researched and found out they were scamming someone else at the same time too.
Posted by Sheila  on  Wed Nov 01, 2006  at  04:06 PM
SHEILA,
YEA THIS GUY IS SO PATHETIC....I AM STILL DRAGGIGN MY EMAILS OUT WITH HIM STILL AND ASKED HIM IF HE KNEW ANYONE WANTING TO SELL PUGS AND HE SAID NO SORRY BUT THEN THE NEXT DAY HE EMAILED ME BACK AND SAID OH I FOUND SOMEONE FOR YOU SHE IS A REVERAND AND WILL SELL HER PUG TO YOU...WELL THE REV EMAILED ME AND SHE HAD THE SAAAAME SPELLING ERRORS AND GRAMMER AS HE DID......GO FIGURE!!!
Posted by cheryl  in  WINNIPEG,MANITOBA,CANADA  on  Wed Nov 01, 2006  at  05:27 PM
Good Grief! This is getting BEYOND ridiculous! And, it is SO STUPID that they think if they throw in that they are being sold by a REVEREND or a PASTOR, that will make everyone think it is legit! Or, that they want the pups to go to a good CHRISTIAN home...they want the puppies to be raised in a certain religion, or what?!? Can't have any atheist dogs running the streets! (LOL) Pretty darn silly, if you ask me!
JoJo smile
Posted by JoJo  on  Wed Nov 01, 2006  at  06:43 PM
This scam is still going on....just is being worded a little differently, but he's still puttin on the Christian front, "he is on a Christian mission and doesnt have time for the puppy." This exact picture was posted in the Windsor Star and the only way to contact the person is to email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
I almost fell for it, but something close to this has happened to me before, so i was leery. I had me friend email him (after he was assuming i was getting the puppy) and he sent her the exact same email that I got - to the T! I also asked him to send me some pix of her, when he did, they were just small ones, when i asked him to send me bigger ones, he said he didnt have any more with him in Africa (lagos, NIgeria - same location). But if the dog is there with you and obvously you have a digital camera to put the first 3 pictures on the computer that you sent me, why could you not send me more? I got suspicious and did some investigating and came across this site. So I just wanted to let everyone know that he's still partaking in the scam - and probably getting away with it...(he just moves around to different countries) I guess we dont donate enough money to Africa, now they want to steal it.
Posted by missT_12  in  Windsor, ONTARIO  on  Thu Nov 02, 2006  at  11:15 AM
YES THIS IS WAYYYY TO MUCH ALREADY!!! DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT CAN BE DONE??? BECAUSE IF NO ONE DOES INTERNET RESURCH THEN HOW CAN WE PROTECT EVERYONE??? OR EVEN POST IS IN MORE LOCATIONS ON THE NET?
Posted by cheryl  in  WINNIPEG,MANITOBA,CANADA  on  Thu Nov 02, 2006  at  11:33 AM
I work at a newspaper and we have been receiving ads from these scammers for months. We have pretty much become experts in figuring out which ones are scams and which ones are legit. We do not run them.

Normally they seem to have yahoo.com email addresses. If there is a phone number, it is always out of state. If you do try to call it, it will not work. The price of the dog is always way under what it should be. We've seen these ads for bulldogs--all types, yorkies--all types, and maltese--all types.

I've emailed a few of these people just to see what their responses are. Their English is always very poor, it always has something to do with Africa (some of the email responses I received the person was being transferred to West Africa to take over the PR department of the UN..gotta admit, those people were fun to 'play' with for a while), they only accept Western Union and Money Grams.

It's not just one person. From an article I read about 6 months ago, it's usually groups of people. Where one person is the head of an organization whose job it is to go to every site they can and place ads. They use stolen credit cards to place them, if paymenet is required. Once they have a 'hit' and the person sends the money, some of that money stays with the person who placed the ad, and the rest goes to the person heading this part of the organization.

There's not much that can be done (unless you have sent the money, but no guarantee you'll get it back) except to make people aware. Spreading the word by email, mouth, wherever. Or, if you see the ads in the paper, or on a website, contact them immediately so they can have the ad pulled so others won't be scammed.

Right now it's dogs. But, I've seen it with cars, motorcycles, and I just read about horses...The scam will morph into something else at some point.
Posted by carrie  in  Texas  on  Thu Nov 02, 2006  at  01:04 PM
Thank goodness I found this website before proceeding any further with our potential puppy purchase. I obviously was going to get scammed as well. I found a site on Petfinder.com for bulldog puppies available for $400. The breeder was listed in my home state so we were excited. We received an e-mail from the supposed breeder that he had just had a Paster Charles McClung adopt 4 puppies and was then sent to West Africa on a mission and took the dogs with him. Unfortunately, he needed to find good homes in the US for the puppies because they were not doing well with the climate and he did not have enough time to dedicate to the puppies. We were supposed to Western Union him 400 and we would receive the puppies at our door the next day. That seemed a little fishy to me so I did some investigating and was lucky to find this site. The "Pastor" even called me at home when I started showing hesitation. I could barely understand him and when I asked questions regarding the puppies history, breeder, etc. he claimed he could not hear me. BULLDOG LOVERS BEWARE!! I TOLD MY DUAGHTER WHO WAS SO EXCITED TO GET A NEW BULLDOG PUPPY THAT IT SEEMED TOO GOOD TO BE TURE!!
Posted by Mary  in  Pennsylvania  on  Thu Nov 02, 2006  at  01:38 PM
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