Dispatches From Scammerland: Going to the Dogs? No, You’re Not

husky dog 150x150 Dispatches From Scammerland: Going to the Dogs? No, You’re NotA young man called the BBB office today asking about a certain bank. It turned out that he was supposed to send multiple fees so a dog breeder would ship two Siberian Husky puppies. Unfortunately for him, this is a scam. And, he had already wired $1,800 to Africa.


1) Why would someone in Africa (a very hot continent) breed Siberian Huskies (a very furry dog which requires a cool climate)? Huskies can withstand temperatures as cold as 50 degrees below zero.

2) Why would you buy a puppy from halfway across the world, at a higher price, when you could contact a breeder or the AKC locally?

3) Why would this African breeder require you to keep sending more and more fees to get the dogs; fees which were not disclosed upfront?

ASK YOURSELF: Why can’t I find a purebred dog in my area? The AKC has been breeding Siberians since 1930. Purebred rescue groups also exist to save these dogs from being put down if they can’t find homes in time. Currently, a local rescue group has a page full of beautiful purebred Siberians for adoption.

CONSIDER: According to the Humane Society of the US, four million dogs and cats—about one every 8 seconds—are killed in US shelters every year. Think about getting your dog from your local shelter, where $1,800 would see to the adoption of 15 dogs with no family to love them.* That amount of money would also sponsor 18 dog or cat kennels for an entire year.

REMEMBER: An animal is not a trophy possession. If you’re not willing to treat him or her as a member of your family, perhaps you are not ready to acquire a non-human companion.

*Based on an estimated shelter fee of $120 per dog, which generally includes shots and spaying/neutering plus city tags. Cats are a little cheaper to adopt.

TIPS: Here are two things you can do to protect yourself when dealing with a breeder you’ve never met.

1) Request that the breeder accept payment through an escrow service
2) Ask the breeder to take a picture of the dog you want to buy, along with a newspaper showing today’s date.
3) Go to www.bbb.org to check out the company before doing business with them. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

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About Holly Doering

Holly Doering has worked for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho, and Montana for half a decade. Her areas of expertise include the CORE Values Program (Character, Optimism, Respect, Ethics) for Teens and Charity Review as well as writing and editing. Prior to that, she has written for two newspapers, a local magazine, and taught English at the community college. She is the proud author of a short story in ZYZZYVA literary magazine and has had good luck publishing lots of poetry. Each year she rolls up her sleeves and wades into the autumn Nanowrimo writing madness and has several unfinished novels to her credit.