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Lost Pet Scam Reporting

Taxonomy Code: FN-1700.1470-470

Programs that provide a hotline, website or other mechanisms that people can use to report calls from scammers who respond to an ad the potential victim has placed in the local paper or online about their lost pet which may include mention of a reward. The scammer claims to have found the lost pet and offers to take time to return it to the owner for the reward, which the scammer wants in advance and may threaten to harm the pet if the owner refuses to pay. In another version of the story, the scammer may claim to be a trucker who found the injured animal as he was driving through the area. The pet had been hit by a car or was otherwise injured, and needed vet care, which has been taken care of and paid for, but he needs the owner to wire him the money so he can pick the pet up and send it back with another trucker in the same company who is driving back their way. Of course, the victim will not only need to wire the money, but give this scammer their name and address as well. In another version of the scam, the scammer can accurately describe the pet because s/he has stolen the animal and then looked for ads regarding the loss and initiated the call. People who suspect that they have encountered or been victimized by a lost pet scammer can report it to: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at at or by calling 877-382-4357, and/or the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), if the scam occurred online.

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