Monday, April 30, 2007

The Poodle scam scam

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on a scam in which Japanese – thousands of them – bought sheep under the mistaken impression they were poodles.

It started off:

“Thousands of Japanese have been swindled in a scam in which they were sold Australian and British sheep and told they were poodles.
Flocks of sheep were imported to Japan and then sold by a company called Poodles as Pets,
marketed as fashionable accessories, available at $1,600 each….
The scam was uncovered when Japanese moviestar Maiko Kawamaki went on a talk-show and
wondered why her new pet would not bark or eat dog food. She was crestfallen when told it was a sheep.
Then hundreds of other women got in touch with police to say they feared their new "poodle" was also a sheep.
One couple said they became suspicious when they took their "dog" to have its claws trimmed and were told it had hooves.”

Have a read of the full article - it's great!

Typical ignorant b----- Japanese, you’d think.

Now this was on the Herald’s web site.

And it was an Australian Associated Press wire story.

The first clue should have been where it said: “…Japanese police said, the The Sun reported.”

But I missed it.

But I thought I’d check it out anyway. Scant mention of “Poodles as Pets”. But then I did find this story on Neatorama. Well worth a read.

Totally debunked.

But… but… they were reliable news sources!

But note the reference to The Sun – a British tabloid that is not read for the truth.

I got sucked in, but got out in time. The Herald didn’t – nor did AAP. Unfortunately, it's now all over the net.

Just goes to show. Reliable sources are the simplest way to trust the internet. But a healthy scepticism remains important.

Just don’t get too cynical, or you’ll ruin your life.

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