The Puppy Scam

Wire us $1,600, and this dog could be yours.
Cynthia Alvarez's first mistake when she was shopping for a dog might have been going to This breaks the No. 1 rule of smart shopping: Don't buy anything from someone who changes their S's to Z's, unless it's an ounce of crack or a pimp-cup. But Alvarez, of California, wasn't shopping for street goods. She was in the market for a prized English Bulldog, and, for the $1,000 pupz was offering it for, she figured she was getting a deal. The company's owner, Dr. Don Anderson, told her to wire the money to a woman in Ashtabula, and the dog would arrive the next day on a Continental flight. Little did Alvarez know she had just broken the next two most important rules: A). Nobody becomes a doctor to slang puppies on a web site your 4th grade nephew could have put together; and B). Nowadays, people generally use credit cards or checks — Moneygram is for your pain-pill-addicted, schizoaffective cousin to keep him from ever coming to visit you. Yet Alvarez — who, sources say, swears that David Blaine's magic is real — was holding out hope. She still trusted Worldpupz, even after Dr. Anderson said he needed her to wire another $350 to pay for a shipping crate and food, then another $250 for paperwork. Alas, the puppy never came. Alvarez had become the next in a long line of victims of the dreaded Puppy Scam. According to a Better Business Bureau investigation, Dr. Don Anderson is a fictitious name, and Worldpupz is just one of his many bogus companies. A third possibility is that people from California are just really dumb. — Jared Klaus