Even though most people are good-hearted and honest, there is the possibility that you will be contacted by dishonest reward-seekers and scammers when your dog is missing. Just last week, an owner of a lost dog emailed Lost Dogs Illinois (LDI) saying someone had contacted them from out of state, using a disposable calling card, leaving no address or name and ask to be paid a reward. The owner was distraught. Did we think they had their dog? What can they do? Losing a dog is a heartbreaking and we, at LDI, cannot understand why people would be so cruel to defraud lost dog owners. In an article last year, Better Business Bureau (BBB) published the most common scans and how to prevent them.
The Pay-Me-First Scam: The lost pet owner receives a phone call from a person claiming that they have the lost pet in their possession. This person asks that the reward money be sent to them before they return the pet. If the pet owner refuses, they will often threaten to hurt the pet in order to pressure the pet owner into sending money. Once the scammer receives the money, they are never heard from again.
The Truck Driver Scam: Someone claiming to be a long-haul truck driver tells you that he came across your pet while on his route. He then asks you to send him money so that he can send your pet back to you, or he may ask you to wire him money to board your pet until he can send your pet back with another truck driver who’s heading your way.
The Tag Team Scam: You receive a call from someone who says that they think they have your pet. After talking to you for a while and getting information about your pet, they apologize and say that they’re sorry, but it turns out that it’s not your pet after all. They then give all the information about your pet to a partner. This is a set-up — in a short time, the scammer uses the information received about your pet only to have a second person call and claim to have found your pet who will try collect any reward money in advance..
The Airline Ticket Scam: Someone calls and claims that your pet somehow ended up in another state. They ask you to send money for a kennel and an airline ticket in order for them to ship your pet back to you. Once the pet owner sends the money, the scammer walks away with it, leaving the owner without their pet and with less money in their bank account.
BBB provides the following tips to keep from falling victim to a pet loss scam:
1. If you get a call from someone who claims to be out-of-state, ask them for a phone number where you can call them back.
2. If a caller claims to have your pet in their possession, ask them to describe something about the pet that wouldn’t be visible in pictures which may have been posted.
3. Never wire money to anyone you don’t know.
4. Report the scam to your local police.
So, we bet you are wondering if the family found their dog? Yes, they did. A Good Samaritan had picked their dog up. Because of the family’s heavy flyering in the area, they were reunited with their dog. A Very Happy Reunion!