When a family pet goes missing from the family home it is likely to be heartbreaking for the owners. Social Media is often used effectively for getting the lost appeal out across the community and often this results in the family and pet being reunited. However scammers are now targeting lost pet owners often when they are at their most desperate to get their beloved pet back.
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North East Division Crime Reduction Officer, Constable Richard Russell said “This despicable crime will see scammers contacting pet owners after seeing the appeal to find the missing pet online. The scammer will contact you directly on the mobile number or e-mail provided on social media and claim to have found your pet. They will then demand hundreds of pounds for safe return of the pet. Even if a reward was originally offered they will demand more or threaten to kill the pet if money is not sent.
The scammers do not actually have your pet and might make up various excuses should you ask to meet or ask for proof. They will ask for money by various means including through bank, Paypal or Bitcoin transfer. “
This warning has been issued by Police after owners in Moray were targeted by such a fraud, however similar crimes have been reported across the UK. The Police should be contacted immediately should you suspect a fraud. Do not respond and do not send any money or provide any more of your personal details.