How much is that puppy in the e-mail? Probably more than you can afford to lose, the New Hampshire attorney general says.

There is a resurgence of the online puppy scam that breaks hearts and bank accounts, the attorney general’s office said. The scam usually involves adorable pictures and promises to deliver the pet once the purchase price and fees have been sent. In the latest incarnation of the scam, the seller poses as a missionary serving in Africa or about to be sent to Africa and in need of someone to adopt his puppy.

Variations of the puppy scam have surfaced nationwide in recent years. A recent complaint from a state resident prompted the attorney general to issue the warning, which is actually an updated version of one that was distributed several years ago, said Assistant Attorney General James Boffetti.

“Puppies push people’s buttons,” Boffetti said Wednesday. “We’re just trying to head off more loss.” Boffetti said the most recent complaint was from a suspicious consumer who did not respond to the solicitation and lost no money.

“Frankly, there seem to be a lot of scam-type activities going on right now,” he said. “They’re all over the place. Some advertise in newspapers. Sometimes they send e-mails back and forth. You think it’s legitimate and buy it hook, line and sinker until the money disappears.”


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