Dog the Bounty Hunter star Duane "Dog" Chapman has been targeted in a scam for nearly half a million dollars. And he wasn't the only celebrity taken advantage of.
Chapman was introduced to American TV viewers with his show Dog the Bounty Hunter, which premiered on A&E in 2004. The show followed him and his wife, Beth, who recently passed away after battling stage 4 throat cancer, as they located and arrested people who broke the terms of their bail agreements. On the ride to jail, Chapman and his family counseled the ex-cons on how they should start over and leave their life of drugs and crime behind. The show was canceled in 2012, but Chapman's gone on to star in several successful spinoffs, including Dog's Most Wanted. This year, however, has been particularly hard for him. Following his wife's death, his store was burglarized and personal items of Beth's were taken. Now, he's caught up in a huge financial scam - and he's not the only one.
According to TMZ, Chapman was sent a check for nearly half a million dollars - $430,000 to be exact - in exchange to do a speaking gig in Dubai. What sounded too good to be true turned out to be a huge scam. Once the large check made it to Chapman's office, it set off alarm bells. Sources told TMZ it all began last month when Chapman's literary agent, Alan Nevins at Renaissance Talent, received an email supposedly from the office of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan - the Deputy Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates - offering an impressive fee for Chapman to speak at an economic empowerment convention for small business owners. Only, things got sketchy real quick.
The alleged deputy prime minster's office would only communicate with Nevins via email, claiming it was because of the time difference, and when he reached out to the host hotel to ask about the event, they said no such convention was taking place there. Then, Nevins was told they were having trouble wiring the funds and that they needed his personal bank info. That's when they pulled out. But lo and behold, a check was sent to them from a Portland construction company - but with a catch. Once the check was deposited, Chapman was to donate $250,000 to their organization. When Nevins contacted the construction company who supposedly cut the check, they said they had no knowledge of it. That's when they knew for sure it was a scam. Local and federal authorities told TMZ this is a wide-spread scheme that's affected several celebrities, but they wouldn't name who.
Considering that $250,000 would've come directly out of Chapman's own bank account, he was very lucky they figured out the scam before he wrote the check. Hopefully, next time he'll be more careful when investigating new business opportunities that seem too good to be true.