A scammer has been accused of the cruellest scam yet, scamming hundreds of people desperate to buy a puppy.
Google has sued a man for devising the merciless ploy targeting the elderly and most vulnerable.
Cameroonian Nche Noel reportedly used cute purebred Basset Hound puppy photos to lure unsuspecting buyers.
A victim sent $700/£538 electronic gift cards in hopes of getting a pet.
They were later told they would have to spend an additional $1,500 / £1153 to cover delivery charges.
But the unfortunate person never received the puppy.
Google claims the man made false promises with its products, including Google Voice phone numbers gmailwith dozens of fake accounts.
The scheme involved a network of shady websites using Google Ads to promote them.
Google was alerted to the devastating problem in September by AARP, a group that looks after the interests of vulnerable retirees.
“The actor used a network of fraudulent websites claiming to sell Basset Hound puppies — with seductive photos and fake customer testimonials — to take advantage of people during the pandemic,” the tech giant said.
“This type of scheme follows a script similar to many online scams, in which malicious actors pretend to be someone they are not supposed to in order to convince victims to give them money for something they will never receive. “
That’s according to cyber security expert Jake Moore from ESET Tapping into the emotions of people tuned into a puppy is a classic technique for making a scam work.
“More support was urgently needed to help vulnerable people distinguish the fakes from the real artifact,” he said.
How to spot a puppy scam
Corresponding The list of puppy scammersscammers will say that the pet is kept in a less accessible place or abroad.
They will usually ask where you live before they say where they are – they will then tell you they are on the other side of the country.
If you have agreed to buy one, they will require you to pay in advance via money or bank transfer.
That American Kennel Club says gift cards are a particularly sketchy way of paying.
And scammers tend to use knockoff or stock photos with the same ad copy used by other sites. Copy and paste the text to see if it’s used elsewhere.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8642336/google-puppy-fraud-scheme-scam/ Google warns of ‘cruel scams’ draining your bank – 3 signs to watch out for