• Crisp photos of puppies to back it up, calls for animal adoption are particularly viral on Facebook.

  • Behind these announcements, malicious Internet users who ask for the payment of 200 euros in transport costs… for an animal that never arrives.

  • The national police have repeatedly alerted to these scams. 

    20 Minutes

    traced the trail of this well-established scam.

Husky, Cavalier King Charles, bichon maltait… There is an embarrassment of choice, on Facebook, for those who wish to adopt a puppy.

Death of the owner, children's allergy, moving for professional reasons ...: various arguments are put forward by the authors of these announcements to justify these calls for adoption "against good care".

Crisp photos in support.

" Urgent.

The owner is dead (my sister).

I give in against good care the Australian Shepherd puppies 3 months old.

Help me find a new family for them, "writes a user in a Facebook group called" Le bon coin du Morbihan (56) ".

An advertisement reproduced almost identically in other groups, with an illustrative photo sometimes identical, sometimes different.

There is no shortage of such examples.

Disabled comments and lack of information put you on the alert?

You are right, this is a scam!


20 Minutes

did the test. Just one message to the author of one of these posts, and you'll receive long paragraphs with all the information you need to adopt. Each “owner” keeps the same discourse word for word. “Here are the conditions for adopting my puppy: give me the news of the baby with photos, give him all the love he needs, take good care of him. It is to be given, but with great care. “A more than interesting proposition for purebred animals often sold for several hundred euros. The "owner" can even tell you the brand of his favorite croquettes. Over the course of the discussions, the “owner” describes his situation and his sadness at having to separate from his young dog.

The discussion then turns to practical details. All the people contacted by

20 Minutes

 live… in Bastia. This is where the scam sets in. “If you cannot come here to Bastia I can send you by a reliable animal transport agency, if you agree to cover the delivery costs. "It is then necessary to count 200 euros for the transport of the beast. And if you offer to go to Corsica, you will have no further news from this pseudo-owner.

But let's keep playing the game. After registering your delivery, an alleged transport agency appears by phone or e-mail.

Everything is in place to make it credible, even in the email address in the name of Air France… but attached to a Gmail account.

Before boarding your puppy, last formality, and not the least: “As a guarantee from us you must […] acquire 1 PCS coupon [a prepaid card] with a value of € 200 and contact us.

»You then have less than an hour to send the proof of purchase, otherwise the puppy will not be able to take off from the Isle of Beauty.

One to two complaints per month in the Bas-Rhin

You will understand, no puppy makes the trip over the Mediterranean after the transfer of 200 euros.

"In the Bas-Rhin, we receive on average one to two complaints per month", underlines Joël Irion, in charge of the communication of the national police force in the department, who had alerted on this scam several months ago.

The investigations carried out by the Alsatian police officers systematically lead to dead ends.

“They are often suspects who are in West Africa.

And there is no real judicial cooperation with these states.


His solution to avoiding this type of Internet scam is to avoid PCS coupons: "It's not traceable, so it's no!"

"Consumer associations regularly warn against this type of prepaid cards, like the UFC Que Choisir last June.

In 2012, the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) had already alerted to this modus operandi.

“The master directs the Internet user to an airline company which appears to be very professional.

The purchaser of the puppy is asked to pay the shipping costs (around 200 euros) to the dummy company.

At that time, the SPA received about 10 complaints every day.

At the time, scammers used email.

Before migrating to Leboncoin.fr then on social networks today.

So be careful!


Report information that you think is false to the "Fake Off" team of "20 Minutes"

Miscellaneous facts

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