Nigerian scammers have a new ploy—this time giving away "free" purebred puppies that are worth upwards of $3,000, the LA Times reports. Racketeers advertise the pups using websites, MySpace postings, and even print ads, asking pet lovers to rescue the dogs or offering to sell them at heavily discounted prices. The only catch: The pets are stuck in Nigeria.
When a customer is lured in, the expenses—disguised as costs for shipping, customs, taxes, and inoculations—start piling on. "It's like the Nigerian advance-fee scams we've been seeing for years, except with the face of a puppy," said a Better Business Bureau official. And complaints of the long-distance pooch fraud are on the rise, the bureau says.