See this as a WARNING post!



pencil on paper

I fell for a scam today…almost!

We have been thinking about getting a little Jack Russel, since we’ve read Jock of the Bushveld years ago. Only still thinking about it.

Two days ago we saw, quite by accident, an ad on the internet for a Jack Russel puppy who was to be given away, due to circumstances. What made us look closer, was that it was in Monceau sur Dordogne, which is just around the corner from Puy d’Arnac and we could easily drop in to have a look at Doggy. .

So we answered.

Got an email back from Almari Dubelle, saying how pleased she was to receive our interest. She went on lovingly to describe her circumstances and last night I replied back, asking some questions, demanding the little femelle, suggesting we will come and have a look next week when we are in Correze etc, etc, etc… ending off by saying how much we look forward to seeing the doggy and I even attached some photos to show that the doggy will live in cared- for surroundings, go hiking with us, play with our cats and goodness knows what fun more!! So, off the mail wnet to Almari Dubelle in Monceau sur Dordogne!

About 30 minutes later, I get an abrupt and rude email back, without a thank you or any decent manner, no answer to any of my qustions, only retorting that the dog is sort of already in transit! I STILL believed everything is cosher, even felt bad for probably making her assume we are taking the dog!

So I thought: “Oh, well, we DO want a doggy, Well accept it and love it, seeing she went through all the trouble, PAYING for the transit and all.”  I was just so grateful it wasn’t the  rude Almari Dubelle in transit I’d have to accept!

So. This morning EARLY I get an email from the transportservice:, saying the dog will be delivered at our house this afternoon at 15:00, but they are waiting for the receipt of transfer of 85 euros to:a Hermann Gandaho in Porto novo, Belin and the dog would arrive from Melanie Pieschot. They even advised me to say the transfer is for a friend, which would make my  taxes cheaper!

“How very kind!” I thought!

By now you can start laughing, because I did indeed storm off to the post office , completed a mandat western union, paid the 85 euros and 13 euros postal taxes and the electronic transfer happened immediatelybefore my eyes.

And just there, clarity struck my mind as fierce as the lightning on late afternoons in Corréze. I immediately realized this was a hoax. In the course of a second everything flashed through my mind, much like I think your whole life would flash before your eyes in your last minute on earth..

Everything about this whole affaire suddenly made sense…the emails, the weird requests, the even weirder behaviour…everything fell into place.  I immediately asked my adorable agent at the post office to stop it. Too late. But because we were so quick on it, we were able to block it and OF COURSE I called back my extremely-friendly- dog- owner-donor at +22993057106, telling him to go ahead and deliver the puppy, we are anxiously waiting! So he demanded me to immediately scan and send the receipt, they need the account number to complet the paperwork? Really? We would then have our doggy by the afternoon. Really? (I can afford to be smirky now…I’m not stupid after all…sic)

I told him affectionately…we were good friends by now, remember….that I will personally hand the receipt to the agent dropping off doggy this afternoon. Mr Agent can even have a coffee, while we quickly  email the details, doggy can have a whee and if all is in order, Mr Agent can leave and doggy can stay behind at his/her new home and everybody will be happy!

Well. His stories got longer and the explanations complicated as to why it can’t work that way.  That was that. He didn’t get his money. We didn’t get Doggy.  Hartman took me for a coffee and I bought ink cartridges for the printer.

On arriving  home, I ran upstairs to check these emails of the last two days, not willing yet to let it go. Did some searching on the images and links of the so-called transport company  and found the images were somewhere downloaded from “Loisir et Sport” , the text and titles were taken from “liensutiles”(both of which you can google) and several other sites which were used in this “probably photoshopped document”.

I am very low this evening. Sad about nog having our Jack Russel, angry with myself for being SO gullible and stupid. But my biggest sadness and disappointmentare are in this world and the fact that people like this exist AND they get away with what they do. I almost let them get away with it.

So what does this all say about Internet? I ‘m not sure.

One thing is for sure. For me personally, this happened to make me more careful about how I use the Oh, so handy Internet! I was always careful and wary of it. But then, slowly and  surely I started loosening up and getting slack..

Well, I’m back to being the secret agent, keeping myself to myself and watching it with an inspective eye. .

My last word is one of warning. Laugh at me, mock me, ridicule me  for being SO gullible and naive and ignorant, but when you’re done….watch your step around the Internet!!

18 thoughts on “Scammed(almost)

  1. My goodness, how scary. Thankfully you realised in time. It is difficult sometimes to come to understand the actions of others, so we don;t immediately suspect anything suspicious.


  2. Don’t despair, There has been evil from the garden up until the end of our time here. You can be thankful for the beauty that you continue to seek and enjoy…Love and thank you…


  3. Damn, I have mixed feelings about this, because we here in SA think that these things only happen here and that our country is just “bad”, but I am sad that you had to learn the lesson on behalf of all of us!!!. You were sharp, don’t beat yourself up!!!


  4. I guess there are people trying to take advantage of good people like you. I am glad you could stop the transfer.
    I am sure in time you will find a good jack russels.

    Our nrighbour have one and we even buy special treast for him so when he comes to their gargen i throw him thsoe treats which he loves, ( ofcourse the neighbour lady know that i give him treats)


  5. It’s obvious that they have gotten away with this scam before! How sad that some people would stoop to this level of deceit! Makes you want to loose faith , but dear Ronelle, You did beat them at their own game! Too bad that it came at the expense of having your hopes dashed about the doggy.

    I do believe that a new doggy in the family will give you much joy, so don’t depair there will be a special one just for you! Rita


  6. That which doesn’t kill you (or rob you of 100 EU!) makes you stronger, or so I’m told. And frankly have experienced myself. You are wiser if less trusting. And I agree. It saddens and angers me that our fellow travelers on this little third rock from the Sun have to treat each other so carelessly. Glad to “hear your voice” again.


  7. Yes, the internet lulls us into a false sense of security because we have access to it in our own, safe homes. Do you know what would irritate me about this? The use of a puppy as a lure. How cynical. Never mind, your inner radar kicked in just in time and that’s the important thing.

    BTW, I just discovered your site whilst looking up something else entirely but what a lovely site. I love the photo of the cat in a plant pot on your photos page – that cat is definitely smiling. 🙂



  8. it is so unimaginable up to what point people are capable to scam money to people. internet is indeed a dangerous place because of people like them! i admire you for your smartness in dealing this affair..if it’s me i’m sure i’ve been scammed already LOL, i can be gullible sometime!

    thanks for sharing this experience i’ll tell this around among friends!! kisses


  9. What a mean scam! Seems like a lot of effort for a scammer to go through to get 85 euro.

    Glad you caught on before it was too late.


  10. Hi Ronell, so sorry about the experience and I’m not laughing at you at all… Your safety is priority!

    It’s scary that such scams exist and people still fall for them. I constantly received emails from such scammers with weird addresses (mostly from africans- family related to some unscrupulous dictators or his cohorts). My hubby showed me how to trace the emails for authenticity – just for fun. I was surprised that such email or URL address lead to some where else. That aside, I read lots of cases where people still fell for the get rich scams from Nigeria,etc. Some went there and never came back!

    What gave me the shivers after reading your experience, what if it’s the other way round. The scammers may be the transport agents after receiving your money and you may be rob or injured. I’m so glad your instinct or Guardian Angel worked and you listen to it.

    Now, I wonder if the account holder still exists after their scam exposed! I really wished these liars soon caught by police or taste their own medicine!

    I hope your readers be more alert.


  11. This was a very good lesson indeed, for all of us. And I really like Barbara’s comment above. Right on the spot.


  12. Only good thing is you realized it before everything gets in their hand, I would have been an easy victim too since I’m just too trusting… 🙂 Sad story about this people who do their work like this. Grrr….


  13. How unnerving. Lucky you realised in time to retrieve your cash!! I am at the othe end of the spectrum – I trust almost NOBODY online (lovely food bloggers excepted…!)


  14. How sad! But quite an experience. People will do anything just for money. Thanks for sharing!


  15. I too am very untrusting of the internet – or should I say some of the people that “use” it. I’m so happy that you discovered what was going on and that you you got it taken care of. I’m unhappy that you didn’t get your JR. Be patient, you will find just the right one – I did about a year ago. He’s our sweetheart-an ornary sweetheart-but we love him.


  16. Thank you for your wonderful inspiration in general!
    This is a lesson we all have to learn still.
    We have problems in South Africa of young children selling stolen dogs and puppies at the Stop Streets!


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