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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 29824
Experience:  Lawyer
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I answered an ad on the Inter-net regarding the purchase of

Customer Question

I answered an ad on the Inter-net regarding the purchase of a Bichon puppy for a total cost of $450.00 see ad ( I quite appreciated your interest in proposing to purchase my lovely puppy(s), But the question is that, will the puppy(s) be able to find a lovely home with you?Do you have enough time to spend with the puppy(s) and care for them? If so i will be very happy to give out the puppy(s) to you..The little puppies are just 11 weeks old,They are up-to-date on all shot and will visit our vet before leaving,highly intelligent happy puppies who adore people,They are excellent with children,love everyone, gladly be friendly to all including intruder. Unfortunately I can't look after the puppies because i am taking care of my DAD suffering from Alzheimer and coupled with the fact that i just picked up a new job and its taking much of my time. I am so sorry to tell you all these but i think i should be honest with you. I am presently located in 41149 N Sutter LN Anthem, AZ 85086.But I can deliver the puppy(s) over to you if you are not closer to my location and it's going to cost you just $450 for each puppy including delivery cost.This is how i have made up my mind through prayers and pain taking efforts in search for a reliable and a caring person to take care of the puppies.I will be very happy to have you as a good and caring parent for the puppy(s) only if you can promise to take good care of the puppy as your own fur-baby. Actually money is not what matters, but to find a caring and loving person) I send the $450.00 by money gram and was assured the puppy would be shipped to me on Saturday. Saturday morning I received a text that there was a problem and the problem was the puppy needed a better crate and another vaccine which would be an additional $1,300.00. I told them no way was I paying anymore than the $450.00 the ad said was the total cost including delivery. Since then I have not heard anything even after repeated texting, e-mails and phone calls which all have gone unanswered. They have my money and I have no puppy. Can you help me either get my money back or get my puppy?
Ruth xxxxx 803-xxx-xxxx
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
This is unfortunately a very common scam. The people who did this are usually located in Ghana or Nigeria, which means that US police can't just knock on their doors and arrest them. I hate to say it, but people who lose their money to these scam artists do not get it back. Even if you could find them, which is virtually impossible, a US judgment isn't worth the paper it's printed on in Africa, and most people can't spend tens of thousands of dollars in Africa to sue to get back a few hundred dollars.
The only thing you can really do is avoid this scam in the future. Do not send anyone money via Western Union or Moneygram to get something from someone you met online. Look for local puppy sellers so you can meet the animal, have it checked by a vet, and verify that it exists before you hand over any money.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center can investigate when you report the scam to them, I just don't want to give you false hope about the likelihood of getting the money back.
http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx
Also, watch out for follow-up scams. Sometimes in this situation, the scam artists will have a friend contact you and offer to get your money back - for a small, upfront fee, sent via Western Union. It's just a more despicable part of the original scam. Don't fall for it.
I apologize that this was probably not the Answer you were hoping to receive. However, it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand.
Good luck.