See this as a WARNING post!
pencil on paper
I fell for a scam today…almost!
We have been thinking about getting a little Jack Russel, since we’ve read Jock of the Bushveld years ago, a Jack russell being an equally lively loyal dog. Only still thinking about it.
Two days ago we saw, quite by accident, an ad on the internet for a Jack Russel puppy who was to be given away, due to circumstances. What made us look closer, was that it was in Monceau sur Dordogne, which is just around the corner from Puy d’Arnac and we could easily drop in to have a look at Doggy. .
So we answered.
Got an email back from Almari Dubelle, saying how pleased she was to receive our interest. She went on lovingly to describe her circumstances and last night I replied back, asking some questions, demanding the little femelle, suggesting we will come and have a look next week when we are in Correze etc, etc, etc… ending off by saying how much we look forward to seeing the doggy and I even attached some photos to show that the doggy will live in cared- for surroundings, go hiking with us, play with our cats and goodness knows what fun more!! So, off the mail wnet to Almari Dubelle in Monceau sur Dordogne!
About 30 minutes later, I get an abrupt and rude email back, without a thank you or any decent manner, no answer to any of my qustions, only retorting that the dog is sort of already in transit! I STILL believed everything is cosher, even felt bad for probably making her assume we are taking the dog!
So I thought: “Oh, well, we DO want a doggy, Well accept it and love it, seeing she went through all the trouble, PAYING for the transit and all.” I was just so grateful it wasn’t the rude Almari Dubelle in transit I’d have to accept!
So. This morning EARLY I get an email from the transportservice: firstname.lastname@example.org, saying the dog will be delivered at our house this afternoon at 15:00, but they are waiting for the receipt of transfer of 85 euros to:a Hermann Gandaho in Porto novo, Benin and the dog would arrive from a Melanie Pieschot, somewhere in Togo, Africa. They even advised me to say the transfer is for a friend, which would make my taxes cheaper!
“How very kind!” I thought!
By now you can start laughing, because I did indeed storm off to the post office , completed a mandat western union, paid the 85 euros and 13 euros postal taxes and the electronic transfer happened immediatelybefore my eyes.
And just there, clarity struck my mind as fierce as the lightning on late afternoons in Corréze. I immediately realized this was a hoax. There was NO Jack russel, or any other dog! It was all about getting that transfer money and I would be the duck. In the course of a second everything flashed through my mind, much like I think your whole life would flash before your eyes in your last minute on earth..
Everything about this whole affaire suddenly made sense…the emails, the weird requests, the even weirder behaviour…everything fell into place. I immediately asked my adorable agent at the post office to stop it. Too late. But because we were so quick on it, we were able to block it and OF COURSE I called back my extremely-friendly- dog- owner-donor at +22993057106, telling him to go ahead and deliver the puppy, we are anxiously waiting! So he demanded me to immediately scan and send the receipt, they need the account number to complet the paperwork? Really? We would then have our doggy by the afternoon. Really? (I can afford to be smirky now…I’m not stupid after all…sic)
I told him affectionately…we were good friends by now, remember….that I will personally hand the receipt to the agent dropping off doggy this afternoon. Mr Agent can even have a coffee, while we quickly email the details, doggy can have a whee and if all is in order, Mr Agent can leave and doggy can stay behind at his/her new home and everybody will be happy!
Well. His stories got longer and the explanations complicated as to why it can’t work that way. That was that. He didn’t get his money. We didn’t get Doggy. Hartman took me for a coffee and I bought ink cartridges for the printer.
On arriving home, I ran upstairs to check these emails of the last two days, not willing yet to let it go. Did some searching on the images and links of the so-called transport company and found the images were somewhere downloaded from “Loisir et Sport” , the text and titles were taken from “liensutiles”(both of which you can google) and several other sites which were used in this “probably photoshopped document”.
I am very low this evening. Sad about nog having our Jack Russel, angry with myself for being SO gullible and stupid. But my biggest sadness and disappointmentare are in this world and the fact that people like this exist AND they get away with what they do. I almost let them get away with it.
So what does this all say about Internet? I ‘m not sure.
One thing is for sure. For me personally, this happened to make me more careful about how I use the Oh, so handy Internet! I was always careful and wary of it. But then, slowly and surely I started loosening up and getting slack..
Well, I’m back to being the secret agent, keeping myself to myself and watching it with an inspective eye. .
My last word is one of warning. Laugh at me, mock me, ridicule me for being SO gullible and naive and ignorant, but when you’re done….watch your step around the Internet!!