Peace Corps Warns Public About Recurrent Bogus Internet Dog and Animal Scams

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 30, 2010 In response to new reports, the Peace Corps Office of Inspector General (OIG) is again warning the American public to be vigilant against online scams involving pet adoptions from Africa by a person or persons claiming to be affiliated with the Peace Corps. OIG previously warned the public about these scams in June 2009.

"Since May of 2009, we are aware of several 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."

Victims responded to Internet ads about dogs allegedly being given away by Peace Corps volunteers in West African nations such as Cameroon. The scam asks potential victims to wire money for shipping costs.

U.S. citizens are cautioned against responding to these ads even if the ad claims a Peace Corps affiliation. The OIG encourages U.S. citizens to look closely at the descriptions within these internet ads, which are often written in broken English. The public may contact the OIG to confirm the authenticity of individuals affiliated with the Peace Corps at [email protected].

As Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world with 7,671 volunteers serving in 76 host countries. Historically, nearly 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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