Name
The Lost Dog Scam

Aka
How Much Is That Doggy, Man's Best Fraud

Victims
Pet-owners who have lost their best friend.

The Crew
One or more

The Scam
Our victim has lost his dear little puppy, a cute little chihuahua German shephard cross with one eye, three legs, no tail and half it's fur missing. Answers to the name Lucky. (boom boom). He does what every distraught pet lover does, he pastes Lucky picture all over light posts, post offices and websites such as petfinder.com.au or fidofinder.com .

Eventually, our con artist happens upon the website and contacts the hapless victim with the following email

Hi-
This is your lucky day! I have found your missing dog.

I own a truckstop restaurant near Byron Bay and a trucker came late last night with Lucky. He must have stowed away the in the back of his truck in Melbourne and he was only discovered when the truck got all the way up here. The trucker was looking for a sack to put Lucky in so he could drown him and get back on the road.

Don't worry, I was able to rescue Lucky but only after I paid the trucker $500 in cash. I couldn't really afford the money but I could tell straight away he was someone's pet and I couldn't bare to see him killed!

I can have Lucky on a plane back to Melbourne tomorrow but I have no money left. If you could wire me $1000 ($500 for the truckers, $300 for the airfare, $150 for the taxi to the airport and $50 for the dress shoes Lucky chewed up this morning) I will have dear little Lucky home ASAP!

Best Wishes,

Con A.R. Tist.


The victim, just happy that Lucky has been found, sends the money but Lucky never arrives.

Variations
Often the con artist doesn't worry about the above sob story. He simply tells the victim he has the dog and will kill it if the victim doesn't send the money. Scared of losing their pet in a grusome fashion, the victim sends the cash without delay.

Another version is for the con artist to pretend to be the new owner of the dog, having bought him for their child. They say they are happy to return the dog but will require the victim to refund their money.

Case Studies
A con artist claiming to be a customs officer from Cameroon pulled this scam on 300 Fido Finder customers telling them that their dog had stowed away in a plane and he would need $900 to return the dog home. Fido Finder founder West Cutshall said, "They should really try to see the dog before they send any money and really shouldn't send any money at all, "The chances that somebody thousands of miles away has your dog is very, very slim. But it has happened."

Take
$300-$1000

Keywords
Short con, internet

Created by Nicholas J. Johnson
Australia's Honest Con Man
www.conman.com.au