Watch out for this scam if you’ve lost a pet

Watch out for this scam if you've lost a pet

In the summer months, our pets spend even more time outside. Unfortunately, that also increases the chance of them running off. Very few things are more heartbreaking than losing a beloved family pet and not knowing where they are or what has happened to them. In our modern technical age it’s easy to take to social media or online classifieds to post virtual missing posters for your pet and they can be helpful. However, there are people lurking out there looking for just such an opportunity to scam you.

Scammers are always on the lookout to take advantage of such tragedies. Loss of a pet is no different to them than any other moment where they seek to capitalize on your grief in order to make money. If you post your missing pet’s information online along with your phone number you could get a text from someone claiming to have your pet, but they will only return them if you send them money. They don’t have your pet though. So if you send them money you won’t get your pet back and you’ll be out the money.

The best thing to do if you receive one of these texts is to ask the person for a photo of your pet. If they make some excuse as to why they can’t send a picture they’re more than likely a con artist. You can also better protect yourself by omitting some of the identifying marks on your pet from the description. This will better allow you to tell if someone really does have your missing pet. And as always, never wire any money or send any prepaid debit or gift card numbers to the caller.