It is devastating to lose a pet. There are many reports about scammers trying to fool heartbroken people for their own benefit. Pet owners should be wary of lost pet scams, but they should know what they are so they can easily identify them.
This way, the person will know when he or she can believe what the person is saying about finding her pet. There are many people in the world who will not think twice about taking advantage of someone’s sadness.
If you are one of those people who love animals and own pets, you will benefit from reading this post. Here are the things you need to know about lost pet scams, and how you can avoid them:
If there is an ad about your lost pet in the local paper with a reward offer, it will not be unusual if someone calls you claiming that they know where your pet is.
The caller will ask for a reward right away, and if you do not want to pay yet, they will threaten that your pet will get hurt so you will be pressured to pay.
They will never get back to you after they receive the money.
Someone calls you saying they think they found your pet, and it is with them. After speaking to you for some time, and getting information regarding your pet, they say it is a mistake. However, they do not have your pet at all. Then, they will pass the information to a partner. They are setting you up, and it will not take long before another person calls you, claiming that your pet is with them and then try to ask for money from you in advance.
In response to an ad you placed about your lost pet, you might receive a call from someone claiming to be a trucker who found your injured animal while driving in an area.
The person will claim that your pet needed care and tool it to the vet, which he paid for and then asks you to wire money before you can have your pet back. They say your pet will be sent back by another trucker who works for the same company who is heading your way. You only must wire money, but remember that this person also has your name and address.
You will get a call from someone who claims that your pet is somehow in a different state. The person will ask for money so they can get a kennel and airline ticket for your pet so they can ship it back. After that person receives the money, you will never hear from them again. You will only be left devastated without even having your pet back.
Be wary if someone calls you claiming that they have your pet and wants to meet you in a public place so you can get your pet and give them their reward. When you arrive at your meeting place, they might tell you that your pet is with them in their car and will go get him after you give the reward. After you give them the money, they disappear.
People who lost their pets become potential victims of being scammed, but those who found a lost pet are also targets. You might get a call from someone who pretends to be the pet’s owner. The truth is they are trying to fool you so you will give them the pet and they can sell it.
If you get a call from someone who claims to be the owner, verify their claim before you give the pet back. You can ask to see ownership or breeding papers, vet records, and their photos with their pet to prove they own it. If this person cannot provide them, you are most likely dealing with a scammer.
If someone calls you about your lost pet and tells you they have it, you should not ask them leading questions. Avoid questions like ‘Does the cat have a tiny grey spot on his left paw?” You must ask them to describe the details of your pet instead. Ask them to give you a detail about your pet that is not seen in the pictures you posted. If they fail to give you an answer, most likely they are trying to scam you.
When someone calls you to claim that your pet ended up in another state and is unable to give details that are not in the ad, offer to pick up your pet instead. If the person agrees with this, you might be talking to someone who is legitimate. You can call a rescue organization that is in the same area as where your pet should be, and arrange with them to pick up your pet and transport it to you.
If you are 100% that someone found your pet and will give him back to you, arrange to do the exchange in a known and public place. You should never send money before meeting them in person.
If you have every reason to believe that someone stole your pet, you need to report it to the police right away and file it. A report helps establish a paper trail and this helps you verify ownership. People have many reasons to steal pets, dognapping so they can ask for a reward is quite common. If there is no reward placed, pet owners get contacted to ask for a ransom. Animal theft has criminal charges, and you should get the police involved.
You should ask if you can call them back in the same number they used to call you. Most of the time, scammers use software that makes their phone number anonymous. If you are unable to reach on the number where they called you from, that is a bad sign. Forget about the person.
It is important to put a microchip on your pet. The majority of honest people will have them checked if they are microchipped. If your pet is stolen, a microchip is very important because it will help you trace where your pet is.
Scammers will also target the ones who want to buy a pet. The scammer will offer a certain pet breed. They might even create a website with false information. You make a deposit as a reservation for the pet, and then they disappear. This kind of scam happens to any kind of animal, and a lot of people still fall for it. Keep in mind that rescue centers and shelters are still the best places to contact if you want a new pet or if you lost one.
Contacting shelters and veterinarians that are within the 50-mile radius is a good place to start, and leave flyers of your lost pet in each of them. Chances are, if someone finds your pet, they will take it there.
When you post on social media about your lost pet, especially if you make it public, it can make you a target for scammers. Do not publicize where you checked in, fitness trackers and others that could give details to someone where you usually take your dog. This info can be used by petnappers.
This can be avoided if you are careful about the info you post on social media. People do not really need to know which vet you are taking your pet, nor where you go for a walk.
Doing this will endanger your pet and even you, so make sure to not tell everyone where you usually go.
It is heartbreaking to lose a pet and never get them back. That is why you always must be careful when you advertise a missing pet, and who you trust. Lostfoundrewards can help you find your missing pet.