Lately there have been more stories popping up about stolen dogs, lost dogs and missing dogs. Dog theft is up but since dog theft is treated, statistically, like any other property theft, it’s almost impossible to really track any numbers.

One thing for sure, dogs are being seen as ‘opportunities’ to the unscrupulous. They steal them, they sell them and they are even ransoming them back to the owners.

The latest scam seems to be aimed at the owners of lost dogs. Imagine, you lose your dog somehow, it’s heartbreaking! You worry and wonder. You plaster posters everywhere, check out shelters, contact lost dog websites to send out alerts, offer a reward.

Then you get a call from someone saying they found your dog. You’re ecstatic!! And this it seems is when the scam starts;

The pitch: “I found your lost dog!”

The scam: A phone call from someone who reports finding a beloved pooch is usually cause for celebration. But Western Union warns that it could be a cruel scam. The company has received reports from owners of lost dogs who say they’ve been called by people identifying themselves as truckers. The dog, a supposed trucker says, was found along a highway.

How it works: The driver says there was no time to get the dog home because of a tight delivery schedule. Now the truck is across the country, but the trucker offers to put the dog on a flight. All you have to do is wire money for the fare. Or sometimes the trucker will also say the dog was injured, and request additional money to cover vet bills.

The outcome: You show up at the airport to meet the flight, but your dog doesn’t arrive. The con artist had gotten your number off a “lost dog” poster or advertisement and never had the pet at all. The nearly surefire way to tell this was a scam was that the money had to be wired — that makes it easy for the fraudster to pick it up and hard for you to trace it.

Advice: Western Union suggests that anyone who is phoned long distance by a person claiming to have found a lost pet ask questions about the animal that are outside the scope of what was on a poster or in an ad. In any case, always be wary if a stranger requests funds be sent by wire. (LA Times)

Dog lovers, dog owners, beware!! There are too many people out there ready to prey on you and it seems they keep coming up with ways to separate you from your hard earned money to line their own sneaky pockets!!

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