The latest in the long series of what are known as 'Nigerian Scams' is one featuring bulldog puppies
Three red flags went up when Mindy Gorman enquired after a $500 bulldog advertised on the Savannah Morning News website. When she emailed the sellers, they replied with an announcement that the puppies had been sold, but:
"... You're lucky to have mailed at this time because the puppy has just been placed on adoption by one of my customers, who went on a veterinarian work transfer with the West African veterinarian commission Lagos Nigeria, West Africa. He is giving the pup up for adoption because he cant take good care of the pup due to his busy and tight state of work. All he wants is someone that's homely and with a good christian home to adopt this young and lovely human best friend."
Then there was the fact that the seller was in Nigeria. Thirdly, when she offered to pay to the transport of the puppy using Pay Pal, the seller, who identified himself as 'Pastor Harry', said that he would only accept a $500 payment sent to Lagos via Western Union.
Ms Gorman did not go through with the transaction, but another customer in the area lost $900 on the scam.
Jeff Thomas, with the Savannah office of the U.S. Secret Service, was unaware of the Nigerian puppy scam. But the details, including the offer of English bulldogs in a state where the biggest football mascot is the same breed, didn't surprise him.
"These folks are not dumb," he said. "They may do their homework in terms of regional interest. People here are nuts about Georgia football."
Thomas suggests puppy lovers approach any Nigerian offers with skepticism.
The website no longer runs the advertisement.