Back in 2015 when I started posting there were almost none, but so many now have seen a way to scam people out of money for the lose of a pet.
Actually you were the one who inspired me to write my list of scams. Now not only do I try to get pets back all over the country, I am exposing these scams too. But sad that I have to do it.
How to spot some "find your pet" scams.
First you must remain calm and think it through before you choose any help to find your pet.
Sense 2015 I have seen a huge rise in scammers in lost pet posts you cannot just jump into something.
The first sign will be that it looks like a support post but in addition it has a link to a social media site or tells you to txt them. Not all of these will be scams but it is a red flag that should make you research them first.
"Pet Trackers" and "Detectives" that are scams Not all of them scams are but you MUST do your research before you hire anyone who states they can get your pet back.
Do not be fooled Tracker/detective scams who will charge you a lot of money and maybe not show up or show up or just take their untrained dog out for a long walk and tell you they found nothing or worse if they stumble onto your pet, they will then give chase and potentially hurt or even kill your pet.
Real Tracking teams are Search and Rescue Certified (SARs) and trained in finding pets too. They are NOT just a random person with a dog. Real trackers have SAR training (Search and Rescue) These teams don’t just have one way to contact them. They like being found they are proud of what they do and show it off.
(Tracking something is NOT like the movies). Real SARs dogs/teams do NOT chase pets or bark while tracking or at pets when they find them.
Real SARs teams are proud of said Certifications and will gladly show you that they have them. They usually have websites and references, social media on top of their SARs training Certs.
Pet Detectives will have a website where they have copied free information and videos from other posts and charge you to get it. There is lots of free info out there, and it may take you time to find it all but it is out there. Examples of good FREE information are:
How to find a lost dog - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cKxfWUXBnY
How to find a lost cat - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2eCoC63B9I
Lots of great FREE info for finding a cat here - WWW.HAPPYCATLADY.COM
There is an emerging version of the detective scam where they try to impress you in stating that they use high tech equipment such as drones. For example when lost indoor cats will hide during the day under or in a tight small location and only come out at night, making drone detection impossible. As for dogs, unless you have a recent sighting in an open area drone detection of a dog is hard as well.
Pet vs Money scam.
This usually happens when you put the reward amount on the flier. The person will say they have your pet but will want the money up front.
They will not show you your pet, or have an excuse as to why they cannot show you your pet. Do NOT transfer/give money to anyone without your pet in person. If someone has your pet meet them in a safe and public location. Police Station, Firehouse, places during the day with lots of people around. Bring someone with you. Again do not give money without seeing your pet in person.
The PIN scam. This is a phone/bank scam.
Some people will ask for you to send a PIN to them to verify it is you. May even ask for money or a money transfer in this case they are going to use the PIN to access your bank accounts and take your money.
They use your number to open up other accounts, call you for the pin, you send it, they get a new account to do more scamming. NEVER send Personal ANY information, or money to anyone without actually seeing your pet.
Never Give up looking for your pet.