Example: [Collected via e-mail, February 2008]
This is disgusting. Many animal rescue groups are mortified by this. It is obviously a hoax, but just terrible. Some have said it is a ploy by PETA.
Do you have any information on this?
Origins: Cookie-cutter recipe for creating a hoax web site:
- Pick a hot-button social/political issue (e.g., abortion, animal cruelty, illegal immigration).
- Create a fictitious service or product related to the issue you selected, one which promotes an activity that is widely condemned as offensive and immoral (and may even be illegal to boot).
- Set up a web site touting a non-existent business that pretends to market your fictitious service or product.
- Sit back and watch as outraged groups of netizens protest and campaign to get your web site (and affiliated non-existent business) shut down.
- They lack any real mechanism for accepting or processing orders, since taking money for a product or service that can't be provided would constitute fraud.
- They provide little or no contact information (e.g., physical address, mailing address, phone number), since those items are generally easy to trace and verify.
- They include over-the-top descriptions, explanations, and customer testimonials designed to inflame passions rather than promote sales (as well as convoluted explanations of why their offerings aren't illegal).
Puppy Profits is just another hoax site stamped from the same mold as so many others, however. Not only does it display all the characteristics listed above (including a FAQ which acknowledges that dog fighting is illegal but maintains that such laws can be skirted simply by calling their activity something other than "dog fighting"), but the sole piece of contact information it provides is an all-purpose phone number
Last updated: 3 March 2008
Cherry, Tamara. "Kids Sold As Donors?" Toronto Sun. 15 February 2008.