Peace Corps Warns Public about Bogus Internet Dog and Animal Scams

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 12, 2009 - The Peace Corps\' Office of Inspector General (OIG) is warning the American public to be vigilant against Internet scams involving pet adoptions from Africa by a person or persons claiming to be affiliated with the agency.

"Since May of 2009, we are aware of nine U.S. citizens and one Canadian citizen who have been victims of a pet scam," said Peace Corps Inspector General Kathy Buller. "We want to let the public know they should be careful in responding to ads for pet adoptions overseas, especially if the ads claim some type of Peace Corps affiliation."

One victim responded to an Internet ad about a Yorkshire Terrier puppy allegedly being given away by a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cameroon. The victim made a wire transfer to acquire the puppy before realizing something was potentially wrong. Earlier this month, the OIG received notification of an Internet scam for an English Bulldog also located in Cameroon.

U.S. citizens are cautioned against responding to these ads even if the person claims an affiliation with the Peace Corps. The OIG further cautions U.S. citizens who may be interested in responding to these ads to look closely at the description, which is often written in broken English. Also, as names used are often fictitious, contact the OIG to confirm the authenticity of individuals affiliated with the Peace Corps at [email protected].

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