Contact Us
Make My Homepage

Guess What More Scammers Are Targeting Next? Yup, Your Lost Pets

lost pet

Imagine you’ve lost your dog or cat. Those who’ve been through this heartbreaking experience know you’d do almost anything to get your pet back. And that desire is exactly what makes you a prime target for the lost pet scam.

As part of an ongoing series for Vetstreet, award-winning consumer reporter Mitch Lipka tackles common scams that target pet owners. This week, he discusses how you can avoid being conned when your beloved furry companion goes missing.

The Scenario: Your pet is MIA, so you post flyers around the neighborhood and maybe even run ads on Craigslist to help you locate your lost friend.

Ways the Scam Works: The information you’ve shared — a photo, your phone number and other details — can be used by crooks to merely pretend like they have your lost animal.

Here are the most common variations of the scam:

  • Someone claiming to be a long-haul truck driver says that he found your pet near the highway and now wants money in advance to transport the animal back to your town.
  • A person contacts you saying he knows who has stolen your pet and is willing to help you get the animal back — for a fee.
  • This one will really tug at your heart: Your animal has been hurt, so he’ll need money to cover the veterinary costs before you’re reunited.

How to Protect Yourself: A big tip-off that you’re being conned: The person demands you wire money first. Pete Ziverts, a vice president at Western Union, says this old scam is still going strong. In fact, the company ramped up its fraud education efforts recently to caution consumers about wiring money to people they don’t know.

To check that the person really does have your pet, ask him to describe a specific detail about your animal not advertised on any lost pet flyers or, better yet, demand to see your pet in person.

Another important tip: Before you find yourself in this sad situation, consider getting your pet microchipped by your veterinarian. This preventive measure is actually effective in bringing lost pets home.

Also on Vetstreet: is a new animal health and lifestyle site dedicated to giving you the most accurate pet information possible, so you can keep your dogs and cats healthy and happy. Our articles are written and reviewed by leading veterinarians, journalists, and animal health experts.

Best of 1280 KSLI

Recommended For You

Best of the Web

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

*Please note that your prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for KSLI Country Club quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!

Sign up to have exclusive KSLI Country Club contests, events, coupons, presales, and much more delivered to you for FREE.