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New 'African scam' targets area dog lovers

LAKEVILLE — Scam artists advertising in newspapers across the country hit the Northwest Corner last week when a classified ad for free Yorkie terriers appeared in The Lakeville Journal and The Winsted Journal.

The ad was apparently a scam, run by someone in Africa. In it, two Yorkie puppies are advertised for adoption, free to a good home.

Upon sending an e-mail to the address provided in the ad, the respondent is asked for personal information and told that two puppies, Simy and Tiny, are in Africa with the Williamses, an American missionary family. The weather in Africa is not bearable for the puppies, who must come home.

The respondent is asked to pay for half of the shipping cost, which amounts to more than $400. This setup is similar to a scam perpetrated a few years ago called the Nigerian scam.

In this area, a bed-and-breakfast was contacted by a man who made reservations and asked the inn to send him a check because of problems he was having converting his currency.  

“This ad should never have appeared in our newspapers, and we apologize to our readers for allowing this one to get by us,†said Janet Manko, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Winsted Journal, The Lakeville Journal and The Millerton News. “We hope our readers recognized the clear signals of a scam that eluded us.â€

For further information on scams such as this one or to find listings of companies that have been reported for fraud, go to ripoffreport.com, fraudwatchers.org or hotscams.com.

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