On Your Side: Canine Con

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June 12, 2007

A south Augusta resident received a scam in the mail recently. However, that's not the weird part, that resident is a dog.

Chloe Malone is a nine-year-old Shar-Pei.

Apparently, someone out there thinks she is a gullible pup.

Chloe is your ordinary average, happy dog, who somehow has ended up on a few mailing lists.

"She gets more mail than I do. Her favorite is the J. Peterman Catalog," Owner Mary Farris said.

She gets a catalog here, some junk mail there, but her latest piece of mail really puzzled her owner. "This week she got a check for $3995.25," Mary said.

What? Mind you, again, Chloe is a dog and she doesn't even have a bank account to deposit that money in.

The letter enclosed says the money is to help Chloe become a secret shopper at several area businesses.

"One of them was to spend $25 at Burger King and spend $75 at Wal-Mart," Mary said.

Another task is to use to the money to wire nearly $3,000 to "test" out Western Union and Money Gram.

You guessed it, it's a scam.

The letterhead leads you to believe the company is called www.shoppingace.com. A quick check of that website reveals a warning about this exact type of scam.

The check is bogus as well; the company that has its name on it says it is forged.

If you get one of these letters, do not cash the check. You will have to pay it all back. The best advice is to just throw it away.

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