Fake dogs claim real money in a bizarre case of business

By Hoang Viet   July 9, 2016 | 03:13 am PT
Pet lovers went extremely naive when it came to the cute animals.

A Vietnamese man took advantage of the pet dog trend in Vietnam by setting up a Facebook account where he used dog pictures to sell the non-existent pets to gullible customers.

The picture of this dog alone might earn you as much as $1,000, in case you dont know. Photo bybrykmantra (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The picture of this dog alone might earn you as much as $1,000, in case you didn't know. Photo bybrykmantra (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Last week, PC50, the police wing of Hanoi that deals with high-tech crime, charged Nguyen Anh Tuan, 19, with defrauding. 

According to Tuan, in January, after getting wind of a chance to rake in with pets, Tuan opened a Facebook account and joined an online group named “Pet dog trade”. He then posted images of dogs there and put them on sale under two distinct identities Le Ngoc Han and Nguyen Thi Kim Ny, reinforced by the photoshopped identity cards.

All the transactions happened online only, paving the way for Tuan to successfully trick two people, pocketing VND21 million ($900) in total in return for a promise that the dogs will be delivered by train. 

As soon as the money arrived, the Facebook account was shut and transaction logs deleted. However, the victims informed the police about their never-come dogs and long-gone money.

Tuan has been handed over to his hometown’s police in Quang Nam Province for using the Internet to appropriate property.

Facebook, as of 2016, has more than 1.65 billion monthly active users, with Vietnam contributing around 30 million over a population of more than 90 million.

Ho Chi Minh City last year sentenced a South African to seven years imprisonment for tricking a woman into giving him $9,000 in exchange for a safe with $320,000 worth of cash disguised as plain paper waiting to be transformed to money through the use of chemicals. The platform that provided context for the scam is said to be Facebook.

In another case on the same social network, two Nigerians and five Vietnamese accomplices who, thanks to good knowledge of Vietnamese women’s feelings, successfully raked in $450,000. 

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