Lost Your Pet? Beware of the Reward Scam!
Your beloved dog Churchill got out under the fence again–but this time, he didn’t come back the next day. You put up posters throughout the neighborhood for weeks and finally get a call back.
Scenario 1: The person on the other end of the line says he’s found Churchill, but wants the $80 in reward money your poster offered–paid in advance. You hesitate and he threatens to harm your dog if you don’t wire the money right away.
Scenario 2: The caller is a trucker who says he found your dog injured and in the ditch, but alright overall. The man says he had to save him and pay a few hundred dollars to get him all stitched up again, at a veterinarian. He is also en-route to another province or state to deliver a shipment. He tells you he can send the dog back with another trucker, but he will need to be reimbursed for the money he spent on vet bills.
How to avoid:
Always post only the most critical information about your lost pet in your ads and always have a secret question that you can ask the caller – maybe specific spots on the animal’s hair. You can also ask the caller to take a picture of the dog with their phone and send it over to you. Some might say they don’t have a smartphone (with camera), so prepare for that answer.
Unfortunately, there is a third option where the caller says he may have found your dog. He gets all the details out of you and decides it isn’t the same dog. But he’s working with a partner, who calls you shortly after and is able to perfectly describe your Churchill.
This is a tough one to avoid, but always try to meet the person face-to-face to do the trade. Wiring the money is always risky.
How to report:
Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) using the link below:
How to protect yourself more:
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