Puppy Scam Costs Sheridan Area Residents Over $10,000

Several Sheridan couples were taken in by the promise of a new pet and left holding the bag. Sheridan Media News Director Kurt Layher has more.

It started out with a simple e-mail but turned into an expensive nightmare for several Sheridan families. They responded to an e-mail address listed in the classified section of the Country Bounty in an ad for free puppies. United States Customs Officer Dale Leatham in Casper says those responding to the ad sent several payments to Nigeria via Western Union to get their “free” puppies.

By the time it’s all said and done most of those who responded had spent more than $2,000 a piece. The con-men portrayed clergy to help sell the implausible story to their targets.

Consumers should take care when responding to any advertisements that seem unusual. Most publications request information from the advertiser up front and that can be falsified. The ad placed in the Bounty was paid for with a valid credit card and a local address of 27 N. Main Street was given. Unfortunately, that address does not exist in Sheridan.

Many publications run disclaimers denying liability for any false claims contained in classified ads. It is a practical impossibility to verify every piece of information and consumers should do their homework before wiring any money. Tomorrow, we’ll tell you about other scams and what if anything can be done about the scammers.

The Health Nut
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Scam baiting?

Anyone who still falls victim to Nigerian scams in 2009 deserves to get ripped off. I know many legit businesses that use yahoo, hotmail, gmail and others. It doesn't have anything to do with what domain you use just don't do business with Nigeria. Sounds like a to good to be true deal from Lagos? It probably is.............

Email addresses

It is very difficult to determine the authenticity of a business from the email address alone. It only takes a few dollars to register a domain name and run email through it. In fact, people don't even need to do this. A person can spoof any email address by setting up an email server on their own PC.

What you said steve is

What you said steve is key... However, when you send mail using a stndard POP server it will send something extra with your email called a header. and it looks a little like this...

X-Apparently-To:
Return-Path:
X-YMailISG:
X-Originating-IP: [xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx]
Authentication-Results:
Received:
Return-Path:
X-TokenInfo-NoToken:
Message-ID:
Date:
From:
Reply-To:
To:
X-Outgoing: [xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx]
Subject:
Mime-Version:
Content-Type:
Content-Length:

Now while you can spoof a domain name, it is a lot more difficult to spoof an IP address...
In the above email header you see IP address listings.. With the IP address you can open a command prompt and trace to the senders IP..
Now with time you learn to see where over sea's routers are, interestingly enough a lot of things end up over in China... A simple way around this is to send mail via an American Shell server however, most of these criminals dont even take the time to do that, they will send it from a dial up internet cafe 90% of the time... The key is to have a few different ways to verify who you are trying to deal with.. Most importaintly as law enforcment says, "If it sounds to good to be be true, it most likely is"

Correct

You are correct. The email address alone doesn't give you enough to determine the legitimacy of the company, but you can learn a lot from the email header. Those using Windows and Outlook Express for email can see the header by right-clicking the message in your inbox, choosing "properties" from the pop-up menu, and then clicking the "details" tab.

spot on...

spot on...

I use gmail for my Business

I have used gmail for my business for over 5 years. I switched to it as it is very user friendly. I personally have never had any issues with it.

Your statement is not a fair one. I'm not sure the specifics of this scam, but to say don't do business with anyone that has a gmail.com account? Seriously?? It would be like saying you had a bad experience with a business on Main Street, so therefore you should not do business with ANYONE associated with a Main Street business. A person in their right mind knows to separate one business from another. This goes the same for you cannot discriminate against everyone that uses gmail.com because of a bad experience.

You should have warned people in general about making sure they know who they are doing business with, not singling out one company and anyone associated w/ Google. There are several online companies that offer Email services. I chose Google (gmail), but others choose Yahoo, MSN, etc.

I have a well respected business and I just happen to use gmail as my email provider. Just because you prefer Yahoo, does that mean there aren't dishonest people who use it?

People.....be internet safe. Use your common sense. Know who you are doing business with.

There is a difference

There is a difference between gmail and the others, that the general public is not aware of.... Gmail accounts should cause red flags... Im not saying don't do business with people on gmail, im saying it is a red flag... I'm glad you have a well respected business, and wish you the best of luck. I will say this, as a business owner using gmail as your primary business email may be seen as a poor move in my oppinion. I am speaking about saftey here, that is what the artical is about.

One of Gmails pitches to the general public is anonymity. If im running a respectied business, anonymity is what I try to avoid.. Anonymity is what criminal activity uses as an exploit.. Thats all im trying to tell the general public.

As you said be internet safe, know who you are doing business with. One way of doing this is to look for emall addresses who use stndared email headers. Gmail does not use the standard.

I use to deal with 100's of

I use to deal with 100's of these a day... Another good tip is not to do business with anyone who uses a @gmail.com address... Have them send you something from a yahoo.com or something else... That way local law enforcment can pull the email headers and trace the sender IP.. However officer said, when ever it comes from nigeria, and or any other over sea's area 99% of the time we will be able to do nothing...