I wanted to buy a pet (Chihuahua dog) for my sister's birthday. I was looking online for classified ads and found good price for pups. I contacted the person and... was scammed for over $100.
I sent the money via Western Union to this name/address:
Fondong Aloh Silvanous
The fraud used this name/email: Chantal Aimee, email@example.com. S/he claimed her "husband's" name ["my husband lives in the city so he can pick up the money quickly"] was Fondong. A. Silvanous.
Below are the warning signs and images sent to me by these frauds. I've learned my lesson and I hope others won't have to learn the hard way.
Joanne, Chicago, Illinois
Foreign Pets (Dogs, Cats) -- Warning Signs and Scam Procedures:
1. They advertise online at free and paid pet classifieds websites. They pose as a person who sells pedigree dogs, cats, and other pets.
2. When you contact them, they reply very quickly (which should be suspicious since there are not many "regular" people in Africa that use the Internet).
3. They have scanners, printers - everything that is needed to forge documents. They will use forged or stolen receipts and certificates from veterinary offices and would scan/email them to you at your request:
4. They find pictures of the pets online - just do search for a Chihuahua dog on Google Images where you can find pictures of any pet you like. NOTE: Another warning sign - would you expect a farmer in Africa to own high-tech digital cameras to make pictures?
5. They ALWAYS want you to pay them in advance using Western Union or Money Gram. They can easily drop the price if they feel you won't pay their advertising cost.
6. Once you agree to pay the first half of the total amount (the second one is due once you "receive" the pet) - they say the pet has already been shipped. Then the next day a fake person from the "shipping company" [in this case it was from "Swiss Airlines"] emails you that the pet is at the airport but does not have all required documents. NOTE - the company's representative also uses a fake email address (in this case firstname.lastname@example.org) so at this point it should be easy to determine you are dealing with a fraud. And he advises you to to pay $X as a missed-flight-penalty-fee and ask the seller to immediately ship the required documents if you want to receive the pet. Then when you contact the seller, they quickly reply that it was the shipping company's mistake, but they will be willing to send all the documents immediately provided you pay $Y to cover "the cost of issuing the new, original documents"; otherwise the seller cannot do anything since they don't have money. I believe both the seller and the "shipping company" are one and the same fraudulent person using different email addresses.
Some people stop here and realize they have just been scammed. Some send more money in the hopes they will receive the pet (dog, cat, etc). My advice and warning for you is this: If you want to do business with people from Cameroun/Cameroon, Nigeria, or similar fraudulent countries - think TWICE; otherwise, you will get scammed!