In a new scam, scammers posing as local humane societies or animal control officers are calling pet owners who have lost pets telling them that they have found the pet and ask for an immediate payment over the phone in order to retrieve their lost pet. Recently, the Idaho Humane Society issued a specific warning about this scam, however, it is occurring all over the country. Often pet owners who have lost their pets will post posters with photos and information about the lost pet which the scammers use to harvest information they can use to make their call appear legitimate. Additionally, through a technique called “spoofing” it is a simple matter for the scammer to manipulate your Caller ID so that the call appears to have come from your local humane society or animal control officer.
Neither humane societies nor animal control officers demand payment for returning lost pets. If you do get such a call and think that it may be legitimate, you should merely hang up and call the real local humane society or local animal control officer at a phone number that you have confirmed is the correct one and not from what the scammer may appear to use.
As a rule you should never give personal information or make a payment over the phone to anyone you have not called. You can never be sure as to who is really calling.
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