Now They’re Playing With My Emotions

Sometime around early March I received the following letter in the mail (extremely condensed for your sanity):

EXCITING NEWS..... [MY FULL NAME HERE]! You did it! You are now a semi-finalist in the cutest pet photo contest! After our judging staff compared your photo to the other entries we received, we unanimously agreed your photo of Willie will advance to the final round of judging. It’s not too early to start thinking about how you are going to spend the $1,000.00 Grand Prize!


We have chosen to publish your photograph of Willie in the "Cutest Pets Around the World" photo book. (ISBN#0-9770401-2-7) The book will be a collection of some of the cutest pet photos from around the world and only the best of the best photos are allowed to appear in this timeless treasure. The photo of Agnes has qualified and will be one of our "Featured Pets" in the book. In addition, every book will have a special pet "Biography" section. This is a section set up for you to tell the world about yourself and your photo.

Here’s the deal. I did submit Willie’s picture for a cutest pet contest. The dog needs to be discovered, it’s just a matter of time. So when I received this letter I assumed it was legitimate because I remembered submitting the photo. They said that he has been chosen for a book that will be publishing in the spring of 2006.

Scam clue #1: I received the letter in the spring.

They said that the photo would appear in the book at no cost to me. I could also receive a 50% discount if I wanted to order myself a copy of the book.

Scam clue #2: They’re asking for money.

So I let some time go by and completely forgot about the letter. Yesterday I received an email that was a duplicate of the letter I got. Again, it said that the book will be publishing in the spring.

Scam clue #3: It’s almost May. When are they going to publish this thing already?

At this point I became suspicious. So I decided to Google “International pet owner’s club”, where the letter came from. The first search result was a discussion forum on whether or not this was a scam.

Scam clue #4: When the scam site comes up BEFORE the company’s site, that’s a red flag.

The discussion board didn’t have a definitive answer, and some assholes decided it would be funny to post stories about the horrible things they have done to their dogs. But the legitimate posts all got the same letter.

What could this be about? Are they only going to publish a single book when somebody sends them money? I looked up the book on Amazon and they didn’t have it, but supposedly the company published one last year, or so they claim. I just don’t get what’s behind all this.


Stacy said...

poor AB! They did the same thing to me with a poem I wrote one time...I could buy a book with my poem in it...what a scam

T.Y CHEN said...

Hey, I got the same mails as you did. I think it's for the book called "Cutest pets around the world" and set to publish around 7/1/2006. They published one last year, too.
But I don't like the idea of paying that much for a book.
The book the published early this year "cutest pets of 2005" didn't get good reviews on

reannon82 said...

They are not lying. Your dog will really be in the book. They have been calling is the spring photo contest. It started in the spring, maybe that is why? I have spoken with Teresa at International Pet Owners Club for weeks now because like you I did not believe it and wanted to ask every single question. Personally I think the way they get ya is when suckers, like me want the dogs bio added ($25) and when you want an additional picture next to the bio ($15) The additional picture is only a yearbook size picture (which I had to ask the dimensions for her to tell me that) The reason why I wanted the additional pic is because his bio is not next to the big 4X4 picture that won the contest it is in the "bio" section. (another thing that they did not tell me until I asked) I am sure that it is a sales ploy. Big time. But I am a sucker and my Little Bit is going to be in there, so of course I have to buy the book! :) I called Barnes & Nobles and Border's where the book is due out in Aug. They knew of the book and told me all of the details. It is a real book :) They are selling is for $69.95 at one place and $79.95 at another! Ridiculous. So International Pet Owners Club is hitting me too hard on the cost of the book $44.95 but hey, I bought the bio and the extra pic :) Hope this helps. Sorry, the contest entry ended on 06.10.06. I tried to reply sooner but the blog site was giving me a hard time.