Beware of people claiming they found your pet

Beware of people claiming they found your pet

By Greg Collier

During the pandemic, many families and households added pets to their lives in order to fend off the loneliness. Unfortunately, this has also led to many pets going missing. If you belong to any type of community group online, you may have noticed that this is not only an issue in your neighborhood but across the country as well. This has not gone unnoticed by scammers either as they will try to use your lost pet as a way to inject themselves into your life.

In Missouri, a woman recently lost her dog and posted that he was missing on a community Facebook page. She received a text message from someone who said they had her dog. The person texting her then said “You know lots of people are fake. So at first I need to verify you from six digits code.” Thankfully, the woman did not respond to any code the texter might have offered. If she had, she may have lost control to any number of her online accounts. While the report we read didn’t elaborate what the code was for, it could have been a code that’s used to change passwords on online accounts. This could range from your email to your bank account.

Some scammers will even claim that they’re holding your pet hostage. They’ll ask for money in the usual forms of scam payment such as gift cards, cryptocurrency, or money transfers. The odds are very unlikely they actually have your pet.

Scammers love to take advantage of emotionally charged moments in someone’s life. They do this in hopes that their victim is not thinking clearly and a lost pet can definitely leave you emotionally strained. Keep in mind that if someone says they found your pet, ask them for a photo of the pet they found. While not 100% guaranteed to dissuade scammers it will go a long way in verifying of the pet is yours.