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Krampus And His Evil Cohorts~{how to spot and avoid the holiday ‘puppy’ scams}

Where there is desire, there is someone waiting to take advantage.  Yesterday morning, ‘D’ and I set off to an address  on the other side of town to look at a recent litter of French Bull Dog puppies for my sister in law who lives in another state.  It was her birthday last week, and her daughter wished to surprise her with a puppy of her favorite breed.  Now, breeders in her state can be fairly pricey, so my niece followed a path we all turn to in need, the Internet.  Can you guess where this story is headed?

She spoke via ‘text’ with the breeder, as this was all the phone number listed on the site would allow {red flag #1}).  My niece went back and forth on sex of the dogs, price, and availability.  All was seemingly well until she mentioned that her uncle would be able to come by the next morning to view the litter.  Suddenly negotiations became somewhat sketchy (red flag #2), and the breeder reluctantly gave the address of where we could view the dogs.  Oh, did I mention they were selling the puppies for $250?…HUGE RED FLAG #3!!  Reminder: If it sounds too good to be true,….IT IS!

how to spot and avoid the holiday puppy scams

‘D’ and I arrived at the house and rang the bell.  No answer.  After 15 minutes of waiting, texting for information, and trying to make contact with this person my niece had spoken to the night before, some sketchy dude pokes his head out and informs us that there are no dogs in his house, and other people have come by looking for the same thing.  Long story short, its a popular scam being run right now, where bogus (but legitimate looking websites) are set up telling people they have these dogs, and ‘they are going fast, so if you’ll just send a deposit to hold the puppy….’, blah blah blah…..

DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THESE SCAMS!!! Always talk to a person on the phone, not text or email.  Make sure the area code is correct for their supposed locale.  NEVER send anyone any money for any reason unless you are 100% positive it is legit.  Legitimate breeders do not work that way, and if they do, you are probably getting a ‘puppy mill’ dog.  The old adage, ‘You get what you pay for’ is correct.

update:  The next day I received a text from the same number telling me they still had puppies for sale (a different breed altogether mind you) and was I still interested/send my email address/they will send pics ect.  Remember that I had called that number the previous day trying to locate the breeder.  What morons.  Anyway, here is the information that was sent to me by them and their phone number.  If anyone knows where to report them, and is so inclined to do so, be my guest!

1 (703) 662-4858

email address: safechemhouse990@textnow.me

Have a safe holiday everyone, including online!!

~Gingerbread Cake with Spice Simple Syrup & Cream Cheese Frosting~
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 1/2
 cups (12 ounces) blackstrap molasses (you can find it at health foods stores)

 cup brown sugar

 cup white sugar

3 1/4
 cups all-purpose flour

 teaspoon fine salt

2 1/2 
teaspoons baking soda

teaspoons ground ginger

teaspoon cinnamon

teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder

teaspoon vanilla

large eggs, beaten

1 1/2 
cups whole milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and lightly butter or grease a 10-inch round springform pan, two standard loaf pans, or two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Put the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Pour in the molasses, add the sugars, and whisk as the butter melts. When the butter is completely melted and the sugar has dissolved so that it’s no longer grainy, give the mixture a final stir, then take it off the heat and allow to cool. (The molasses will separate from the butter — do not panic.)
  3. Using a dry whisk, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cocoa powder in a large bowl.
  4. Add the vanilla, eggs, and milk into the saucepan with the molasses and melted butter and whisk to combine. Slowly pour this liquid into the bowl of dry ingredients.
  5. Whisk to combine, making sure there are no lumps. Then, pour the batter into your prepared pans and bake for 45 to 50 minutes (this will vary depend on what pans you’re using — be sure to start checking around 40 minutes and to monitor the cake closely) if oven runs hot make sure to pay extra close attention so cake does not come out burnt or dry, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes, then run a thin knife around the edges and remove from pans.

Spice Simple Syrup:

1 cup sugar

1cup water

1 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

Boil in pan until sugar dissolves and cool.

Cut cool gingerbread cakes in half and gently pour simple syrup on layers.  Use as much or as little as you would like.

Cream Cheese Frosting recipe here~(omit raspberry flavoring and use cream cheese flavor oil and vanilla)

Frost middle and top of cake.  Top with candied ginger if desired. Ginger is sold at Trader Joe’s.


Chill man, chill....{Ease The Stress Of The Holidays with a Recipe for Khalua Rum Raisin Truffles}
Temptations Of The Season ~ 4 Tips On How To Deal With A Night Of Over-Indulgence, and Why Hot Lemon Water Is Your Best Friend

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  • Reply
    December 16 at 11:52 am

    Scammers are everywhere, aren’t they? so we should be careful nowadays especially if transaction involves money. Anyway, that Gingerbread cake looks yummy… Thanks for sharing the recipe! #sharewithme

    • Reply
      December 16 at 11:44 pm

      Too true Cheryl! Thanks 😉

  • Reply
    Coombe Mill - Fiona
    December 16 at 1:32 pm

    Oh no to the puppy dog scam but yum to the cake #sharewithme

    • Reply
      December 16 at 11:44 pm

      ha ha! Thanks Fiona! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton
    December 24 at 9:49 am

    Kristine, that’s horrible! I’m so happy that she had you check it out for her, the runaround was horrid. I hate when scammers play with your heart. 10 years ago we were looking for a dog, we found a litter of Boxers several hours away we put in our request and was approved for the last female pup in the litter, we were so excited. On the day we were to pick her up we went to Pet Smart and bought everything we needed with the kids in tow set out to pick her up. We stopped at Steak ‘n Shake for a bite as we were looking at 4 or 5 hours on the road, and we called the breeder. She then notified us that they gave our puppy to someone else the night before and they had none left. It was devastating. The kids were crushed. We went and got a newspaper and started calling breeders from around the state. We found one that had pups that were only 2.5 weeks old, after telling her our story she let us come see them that day, she could tell we were heartbroken, we chose one, adding my daughter’s bracelet to her neck as a indicator of the pup we chose. We got to bring her home when she was 5 weeks old, her momma quit feeding them. And we fell in love. She was the best dog ever, a kid with fur and a tail. It turned out to be the best thing that happened although we were crushed in the beginning. We lost her 1.5 years ago and we miss her daily. Best of luck on the search the right puppy is waiting on your sister-in-law’s family!!! Merry Christmas!
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton recently posted…#WAYWOW Community and LinkupMy Profile

    • Reply
      December 25 at 9:22 am

      That’s quite a story Nikki! Glad it worked out, pups are so much a part of the family that the right one is a huge blessing! Merry Christmas to you too! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 6 at 8:35 am

    Oh my goodness what a scam. Bless you that’s awful. recipe looks delicious as always. Hope you had a lovely Christmas abide the dog thing. Thank you ever so much for linking up to SWM and the amazing linky/blog support last year. It means the world to me that people come back again and again to share their amazing blogs. I hope this year is no different. It’s great to get to know more blogs and I love reading each post every week and sharing them. You have such a lovely blog here. I wish you a huge happy new year!!! #sharewithme

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