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Pet Scams

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Man holding two dogsWhen a pet is lost, it is easy to become distraught.  The desire to be re-united with the pet can make you vulnerable to unethical people who may try to take advantage of you and the situation.  If someone calls and states that they have your pet, try to get a positive identification on your pet from the caller.  Have specific details in mind that only you would know, that are not mentioned on your ads or posters. Think of a special question that only someone with your pet will be able to answer.

Watch Out For Pet Scams

Here are some common scams to be aware of, along with a few tips on how you can avoid being taken advantage of.  Keep in mind, all these scams are designed to make you give a scam artist money without returning your pet.

The Shipping or Airline Ticket Scam:

  • Someone calls and says your pet was found in another state.  They ask you to send money for an airline ticket so they can ship your pet back home.  Once you send the money, the con artist disappears.

The Fish and Switch:

  • You receive a call from someone who believes they have your pet.  After getting you to talk about your pet and getting all the details and specifics to identify your pet, they say that they have made a mistake and the pet they have is not yours.  Then the con artist gives all the information you provided to an accomplice, who later contacts you with an accurate description of your pet.  Upon hearing these details, the con artist tries to make you believe they really have your pet, and asks you to send the reward money before they return it.

You Pay First Scam:

  • You receive a call from someone who says they have your pet.  This person requests that the reward money be sent before they return the pet.  If you refuse, the scam artist may threaten to hurt your pet in order to pressure you into paying.

The Trucker Scam:

  • Someone claiming to be a truck driver tells you they came across your pet on the road and picked it up.  They ask that you send money so they can board it until they can send it with another driver who is coming around your way.  Another variation of this scam is when the con artist claims your pet was injured and needed veterinary care.  They ask that you send money so that they can pick up your pet from the vet and send it back to you.

If you suspect a scam, contact your local police department for assistance.

Download our free Lost Pet Poster Template.