Losing a pet is a devastating experience. Many reports have been received about scammers who are defrauding heartbroken pet owners in order to line their own pockets and we advise pet owners who have issued an amber alert to be wary of the following pet scams:

“Scammers play on your emotions”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB. “Pet owners who have lost their animals are easy targets for those whose sole intent is to make a quick buck.”

The Pay-Me-First Scam: The lost pet owner receives a phone call from a person claiming that they have the lost pet in their possession. This person asks that the reward money be sent to them before they return the pet. If the pet owner refuses, they will often threaten to hurt the pet in order to pressure the pet owner into sending money. Once the scammer receives the money, they are never heard from again.

The Truck Driver Scam: Someone claiming to be a long-haul truck driver tells you that he came across your pet while on his route. He then asks you to send him money so that he can send your pet back to you, or he may ask you to wire him money to board your pet until he can send your pet back with another truck driver who’s heading your way.

The Tag Team Scam: You receive a call from someone who says that they think they have your pet. After talking to you for a while and getting information about your pet, they apologize and say that they’re sorry, but it turns out that it’s not your pet after all. They then give all the information about your pet to a partner. This is a set-up — in a short time, the scammer uses the information received about your pet only to have a second person call and claim to have found your pet who will try collect any reward money in advance..

The Airline Ticket Scam: Someone calls and claims that your pet somehow ended up in another state. They ask you to send money for a kennel and an airline ticket in order for them to ship your pet back to you. Once the pet owner sends the money, the scammer walks away with it, leaving the owner without their pet and with less money in their bank account.

BBB provides the following tips to keep from falling victim to a pet loss scam:

1. If you must place an ad, include only essential information. Refrain from providing information about unique markings or physical attributes.

2. If you get a call from someone who claims to be out-of-state, ask them for a phone number where you can call them back.

3. If a caller claims to have your pet in their possession, ask them to describe something about the pet that wouldn’t be visible in pictures which may have been posted.

4. Never wire money to anyone you don’t know.

Many pet owners have also had their pets microchipped, as this preventive measure has proven to be effective in bringing lost pets home.

12 Responses to “Watch out for Lost Pet Scams!”

  1. Kacie says:

    I got a call and some texts from 501-553-5513 claiming they had my cat. He said his daughter lived in my neighborhood and is scared of cats, so he took him to Arkansas. I asked for pictures or to confirm the microchip number, and he said he didn’t have a camera and avoided the other question. He then said he needed gas money and his daughter is at work and can’t get him any. When I said there is a reward upon his safe return and not before, he started to threaten me. If you search the number on Facebook, this person has done this to multiple people. When you put the number in google voice it comes up as Deketrick Mouton, but he said his name is Tracey Williams. Has also used the name Jimmy and pretended to be a truck driver.

  2. Lynn says:

    LOST PET SCAM ALERT
    If you receive a call from 501-553-5513 saying they have your lost pet THEY DON’T. Its a guy in Arkansas trying to scam people saying his daughter lives near where the pet was lost and he doesn’t have gas money to bring it back. So if you send him money he will return your pet. He is a low life moron who probably hasn’t worked a day in his life.
    DON’T BUY INTO IT! IT’S TOTAL BS!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I received a call from 501-553-5486 saying they have our cat. I didn’t get any story, but a few one word answers in reply to my texts. I threatened to call the police, and have not heard anything more. My guess is that it’s a burner number, and this person has the ability to change it, since it came from a number closely related to the ones above.

  4. Janel says:

    I was contacted by the same con artist “Jimmy”, from the same 501-553-5513 phone number. This occured back on March 25,2017-nearly 2 months after my cat had gone missing. Same scam. Said he had her, needed me to wire money. I wanted to have him arrested or confront him so I stalled and slow played him for 2 days. I did my research meantime.He gave me the name Delisa Craig, Little Rock, AR to wire the money to, then when he realized I had just conned the con, he said he gave me a fake name. I made fun of him for failing to get money from people and told him he was a failure at this, too and how embarrassing it would be to have to scam people out of such a small amount , and such a low life scam without any effort. I called him lazy, low IQ, deviant, a failure, and I laughed at him. It felt so good! He said he would get back at me and take it out on my cat. I never found her. My question to those who have had contact with him is: Have any of you eventually found your lost cat? or Dog? Im not letting this drop and I think there could likely be more to the story of Jimmy. Help me by filling in some blanks. Thanks for your time, and Im sorry for the loss of your pet. I understand the pain.

  5. Aren says:

    I just received texts from this man, stating he found our lost dog. I told him I could have animal control or local police arranged to pick our dog up…then he wouldn’t have to worry or be concerned about our dog anymore. He doesn’t want “strangers” coming to his house. I realize this is a scam for money. I truly don’t believe he actually has our dog because he won’t send pics or any details about her. I have called my local animal shelter to notify them.

  6. Wren says:

    I received a text message from 501-553-5513 today saying “Got your dogs”…

    My husband picked up our dogs 2 nights ago from the shelter after they were found.

    I took down all of my Facebook and Pawboost lost dog postings the day we found them, but forgot I had put out a Craigslist ad in the lost & found section. So, pretty sure Craigslist is where he is lurking to find scam situations.

  7. Jimmy says:

    I AM SO SORRY FOR SCAMMING!!!!

  8. Lora says:

    Got a message saying, I have your dog. Being my Pitbull was missing I responded & fell for it. Sent money to his niece Delisa Craig Little Rock for gas money to meet me. He was all nice & concerned til money was sent then became rude saying he couldn’t trust to let his niece meet me & I hadn’t sent enough money. I reported the money wire with WU. I message him saying I had contacted the police. I’ve not gotten any response & I have reported him. This is sorry as hell & better hope I never cross their paths. The # used to contact me was 501-553-5486, on May 22, 2017.

  9. Kl says:

    Missing our pug,the guy who texted said similar things.501-553-5486,.BUT has changed his number n blocked me..since then I’ve investigated,there is a family here with the name Sharum,from Arkansas,who had a son here in Va…Marilyn Sharums facebook page says she lives in Arkansas,bUT her n her husband Michael are moving here to be with there son,due to his divorce..The young daughter of michael sharum jr apparently posted a snap chat photo of herself n a pug..I have found them less then 5miles from where my pug went missing..I left a nOTE for them to call me ASAP..I’m hoping and waiting they call..too many things seem to go together here,I don’t know what to think..what to do,I won’t stop until I speak to them directly.probably the scammed BUT I’m holding on to hope anyway..HEARTBROKEN IN VIRGINIA

  10. mary conley says:

    add this one to your list .. 424 276 9741

    It’s a relay texting system out of Canada so they won’t speona the account unless you file with mounties .

    I got an email address to contact them at . of Dennis Larry ( dennislarry05@gmail.com it’s being sent from a mobile carrier using IPv6 tagged back to the Google.mx Charlestown SC node .. emails are most likely sent from a android phone in the vicinity ( which could cover more then 1 state depending on the routing )
    ipv6 origin – 2607:f8b0:400c:c05::241

  11. Teresa says:

    Here is another number 9183870311….. Got a text tonight stating..HELLO I FOUND YOUR LOST CAT. I BOUGHT IT FROM SOMEONE AND IF YOU ARE READY TO PAY MY MONEY AND SHIPPING FEES THEN I WILL RETURN IT. AM A TRUCK DRIVER YOU CAN ONLY TEXT ME BECAUSE I AM A DEAF MAN. WAITING FOR A REPLY.
    so I state me a picture and who you bought it from otherwise I am not agreeing
    He..oh my phone camera not good at all then bye how do you want me to tell you I am not a foolI state I don’t believe you.where did you get it, I’m not sending money without proof, description, sizeHim it’s black and gray then okay cat is not yours .again he states black and gray I text..I doubt you have my cat as I would hope you would want to make sure it’s correct so weight anything else (that in my head is not in the picture) and where did you get him and date. Him. Cat weight is 8 to 9 I bought on 25th of June in Everett for 250 so send the money through Walmart money gram Me…no I need more time of day and more about the cat and how am I getting the cat. Him… I will drop at humane society after I picked up the money Me.i still need more and played on he would feel the same
    Him. I don’t much time for questions you don’t want it back..this goes on..he never gives any other info then what is in the add..he does state cat is old thin needs help, I state it’s a scam he says I’m not scared of the cops.if you don’t believe me fine I’ll sell it tomorrow
    And that was it….. Watch out ..I found out name is a Tim Katoe in Oklahoma …so upsetting and makes me furious

  12. Patrick says:

    +19183870311
    Same as above. Deaf can only text can’t send pic. Truck driver. Won’t meet must pay and they will drop off dog at humane society.
    I knew it was a scam

Leave a Reply