Charities and non-profit organisations have issues warnings to dog owners with missing pets that they may fall victim to scammers demanding money in exchange for the pooches.
DogLost and the Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance, which is a campaign to enact tougher legislation on pet theft, say that scammers like these will phone owners of missing dogs and demanding cash in a wicked swindle.
The problem is that these crooks don't actually have the dog, but they would con concerned owners by demanding money via bank, Paypal or Bitcoin transfer, or to meet them in person with cash, writes WalesOnline.
The two charities issued a warning poster that advised the scared dog owners to ask that the scammer send a photo of the dog with something showing the date. Be careful it's not a picture you've shared on social media before!
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The poster has been circulating in missing dogs groups on Facebook, including Drone SAR for Lost Dogs UK, a group started by Graham Burton from Pontypridd, using drones to locate missing dogs.
Graham posted the warning saying: "Just making everybody aware the scammers are at it again worse than ever".
One victim commented: “This happened to me and it was so agonising as part of you thinks maybe they have your dog and another part just makes you so suspicious of a lot more people in your life.”
Another said: “I had exactly this when my dogs disappeared. One was found, the other was still missing. The scammer spoke as if he had both my dogs!
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“They don’t have your dog… they are cruel, vile people. Please don’t fall prey to this.”
One said: “I had a week ago. They said £1,000 in their account in 15 minutes or they will use my puppy as bait.
“They said not to tell the police or they know where I live. Not only did we have to live through the pain of losing our babies, but also the trauma caused by people who think they can make a quick buck.”
If you receive a photo that seems legitimate, contact DogLost or email[email protected]for help and advice.
The charities are collecting and matching data of scammers in a bid to stop the issue, so report all fraudulent calls to DogLost and the police.
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