Inside Look at a Real Pomeranian Husky Scam
How can you really know if the breeder you’re dealing with is a scam? Truthfully, it’s tough to tell. That’s why in this publication we’re walking you through a real pomsky scam of about $800. Read through each section, from the introduction to the scam and see how you can identify which websites and breeders as a scam.
This is a true story from a subscriber that contacted us for help. Debbie reached out to us with her story and is nice enough to provide us with her email conversation that led up to the scam. Debbie wants to help others avoid pomsky scams; we’re going to breakdown Debbie’s interactions step by step to show how you can identify the red flags of a scam.
In this post we’re looking at a breeder called Ed Williams Pomskies. Ed Williams Pomskies has since been shut down for their scams; this is just one of the times that Ed Williams got away with the scam. It’s impossible to tell how many individuals they’ve scammed.
Although Ed Williams Pomskies was shut down, we were able to record their website before it was shut down. You can view Ed Williams Pomskies website here in our video breakdown of the scam.
How to read this blog:
In this blog we're taking you through the entire scam process, including all email communications back and forth between Debbie and Ed Williams Pomskies. Each of the 11 steps consists of details of the step in the scam, pictures of the email communications and details of the "red flags".
Let's start with step 1...
Scam Step 1: Finding the breeder
This breeder was found though a simple google search. Searching “Pomskies for sale in Oklahoma”, Debbie found the website Edwilliamspomskies.com. The website looks legitimate! So Debbie picked the perfect pomsky and contacted “Ed” from Ed Williams Pomskies through a contact form on the website.
Debbie asked Ed to call but he was always “too busy” for a phone call, so all communications took place through email. Right off the bat, this is a red flag.
Website red flags:
Unfortunately, Debbie didn’t see the website red flags before contacting Ed Williams Pomskies. We’ve seen hundreds of scams so we know what to look for, here are some of the red flags that stood out to us:
- No contract address listed on the website
- The website has the Pomsky Club of America badge on their homepage (they are not a PCA member)
- Price is much much lower than typical pomsky price
- Testimonials are clearly stolen from other websites (Google search a couple of the testimonials)
- Reverse google image search a couple of their pomsky photos and they were Mountain Shadow Pomskies puppies
- The “About Pomskies” page is information copied from other websites
As I mentioned, the website is shut down and no longer available. But luckily, we took a video of the site before it was shut down so you can see the red flags for yourself. Click here to see our video breakdown of the scamming website, notice the website looks like a real breeder.
Scam Step 2: The Intro
See the email message below. After Debbie filled out the contact form on Edwilliamspomskies.com, Ed contacted Debbie directly with information about the pomsky.
Notice the email sounds very legitimate! He mentions info about the pomsky, talks about the price, mentions what’s included with the sale, provides some contact info and asks Debbie to answer some questions.
But, there are some red flags:
- Notice the bottom of the email says visit our website http://www.michaelpomskypups.com/available_puppies.html - this is not the same website that Debbie signed up on
- Price of $625 is WAY below the average price of a pomsky. This is a big red flag
The Intro Email
Scam Step 3: The Setup
Some scams are easy to identify. You'll know it's a scam because after a few emails the “breeder” is pushing for the sale and has no knowledge of the transaction process. That wasn’t the case with this scam…
After a few emails back and forth, Ed from Ed Williams Pomskies seems to be a nice and respectable person. He's considerate of Debbie’s concerns and even mentions that “we like to meet our customers in person”. This is the process of setting the customer up for the scam. Ed is building trust with Debbie so that next, he can ask for personal information and payment.
Notice after a couple emails back and forth Ed is already talking about the transfer of ownership, sales contract, and a deposit. Debbie barely even had a chance to ask questions! Within the first day, after barely answering any questions, without any proper screening of the buyer and without a phone call, Ed the “breeder” is already asking for personal information to set up the transfer of ownership and sales contract.
But unfortunately, this happens all too often. The buyer is too excited. They just found the perfect pomsky! They want to pay and get their puppy as soon as possible.
See the "setup" emails below.
The Setup Emails
Scam Step 4: Payment Request
See the emails, transfer of ownership and sales contracts below. Here’s where we start to see even more red flags.
Payment request red flags
In the payment request email below, Ed is asking Debbie to transfer $400 through a western union wire transfer to reserve her pomsky. Here are the red flags:
Here are the red flags:
- Who is David Mabin? This whole time Ed Williams has been talking to us but now we’re sending money to David?
- The phone number doesn’t match. The website phone number is listed as (210) 600-0770 but this western union transfer request has the phone number listed as (210) 465-1927
- In earlier emails, Ed says they are located in Irving Texas but the zip code 77001 seen in the payment request email is Houston Texas (almost 4 hours away from Irving)
Contract red flags:
Ed Williams asked Debbie to sign and return the sales contract. See the contract below (marked up to hide personal information). The contract looks okay, but there are a couple red flags that could make you question the legitimacy of the breeder.
- There’s a watermark across the contract that says “Michael Richards Pomsky Pups Farm”
- The colors seem patched together, see for example the “Our payment regulations” section on page two of the contract. This section seems patched together.
Transfer of ownership red flags
See the transfer of ownership document below (marked up to hide personal info). This is likely a real transfer of ownership contract downloaded from online, it’s tough to tell if this is legitimate or not.
If you’re unsure about these red flags, here’s what to do:
- Call the breeder – ask them about any concerns that you have
- Ask the breeder to use a different, safer payment method
- Post the contracts to a legal advice forum. Ask for advice on the legitimacy of the contract
- DON’T get bullied into trusting the breeder. If the breeder pushes you, walk away.
Payment Request Email
Ed Williams Pomsky Contract
Ed Williams Transfer of Ownership
Scam Step 5: The First Payment
See the email exchange below. Debbie gets cold feet! Rightfully so…Notice a couple things:
- The breeder keeps complaining about being “busy”, they’re beginning to distance themselves from the constant emailing
- Look how the breeder responds trying to bully Debbie into paying. Ed responds saying “if you don’t feel comfortable dealing with us then you can as well buy from other breeders”
Unfortunately, this tactic works and it works well. You're struggling to find the perfect pomsky, of course you're going to pay up to get your perfect pomsky!
In this case, it worked. Debbie paid $400 through a Western Union wire transfer for her pomsky.
The First Payment
Scam Step 6: Let The Excuses Begin
See the continued email exchange below. Now a couple days after the initial contact Debbie is asking for new pictures of her pomsky. This is good! This is our #2 tip to avoiding pomsky scams published in our blog 6 tips to avoid pomsky scams.
But see how the breeder responds…all of the sudden, the excuses begin. The breeder is away from home and can’t send new pictures. (uh oh)
Scam Step 7: Suddenly Busy
And the charade continues…see the continued email exchange below. Debbie wants to plan a time for Saturday morning but of course, Ed the breeder is “busy” but they still plan to meet in a central location to pick-up the pomsky.
Scam Step 8: Can’t Meet – Need to Ship
Of course the non-existent breeder doesn’t want to meet! Now, Ed can’t meet to drop off the pomsky because he’s too busy (as he’s been subtly dropping hints). He knows you want your pomsky as soon as possible, so “How about shipping?” Heck he’ll even “cover part of the expenses” what a nice guy!
So now Debbie is being charged an additional $345 to cover shipping expenses and remember, she already paid a $400 deposit!
Ed continues to act friendly and apologetic, he asks for some basic shipping info and the nearest airport to ship to.
See the email exchange below.
Can't Meet Email (need to ship instead)
Scam Step 9: Time To Meet Your Pomsky! (NOT)
Finally! The time has come. Debbie’s pomsky will be shipped soon, Ed says we are “going to ship in the early hours tomorrow” but of course there’s more to be skeptical about. Ed says we “can’t guarantee flight time”.
See the email exchange below.
Shipping Tomorrow Email (NOT)
Scam Step 10: Shipping Confirmation – last effort for more money
Ed keeps his word; the next day shipping is confirmed with a Courier service. This scam is tricky; they even go as far as sending Courier confirmation to Debbie. See the email below, notice Ed is asking for MORE money, saying the courier service requires a refundable life insurance deposit and he’s again “busy”.
Below the email exchange, we've included the "confirmation" emails from the courier service. Anything look sketchy about this email confirmation from the courier service? (Hint: all of it looks sketchy)
Courier service red flags:
- The email confirmation does not look legitimate, poor color scheme and lots of cropped sections.
- The courier service is asking for a direct transfer from your bank or western union. What professional courier service doesn’t have a better system for accepting payments?
- Who is Thomas Marrell? Why would you western union a payment for courier service to an individual?
- Poor formatting and spelling errors throughout the email
- This email is supposedly from the company "Fast Couriers". This is a real company, but the phone number on the email does not match the phone number on their website.
- Fast Couriers is a real company – contact them and ask if this was their email and if your pomsky has scheduled to ship
Shipping Confirmation Email
Pet Shipping Courier Service Emails
Scam Step 11: The Scam
You know how this story ends. Unfortunately for Debbie, she drove to the airport and there was no pomsky puppy. She paid nearly $800 just to waste an afternoon driving to the airport.
We’ve decided not to post the final email from Debbie, simply because Debbie realized the mistake of the scam and contacted Ed Williams in regards to the scam. Ed Williams made off with $800 never to be heard from again.
Scams are tough to identity, we hope this can help others going through this process realize the red flags as they happen. For more details into how to avoid scams, checkout our blog six tips to identify and avoid a pomsky scam.
Learn From Debbie
The purpose of this pomsky scam breakdown is to show you that scams can happen to anyone. Scams aren't so obvious, especially when you think your dreams are coming true bringing a pomsky puppy into your home. This is an example of a very thorough scam, this process can easily trick anyone. You must be diligent and wary of scams, look for red flags and act on any suspicions you have. If you're uneasy about something, take action and ask questions. If you're questioning if a breeder is a scam, contact us, we'll review the breeder and let you know if it's a scam or not.
Debbie has asked us to publish her story so you can learn from her mistakes. Learn from Debbie and avoid the potential scams.
Our biggest tip to avoid scams: work with a registered breeder from a pomsky breed club. See some of our pomsky breeders, each breeder is vetted and verified. And download our list of reputable pomsky breeders around the globe, we have a list of 40+ breeders all over the world so you can find a breeder near you.