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Scammers target owners of missing pets

By Kyle Ritchie

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The north-east public has been urged to be vigilant after scammers are contacting people who have missing pets.

They claim to be calling from a vet, advising that the missing animal has been found and needs immediate treatment with payment required upfront.

Advice Direct Scotland, which runs the national consumeradvice.scot service, has issued advice to pet owners on how to avoid being scammed and urged people to report scams at scamwatch.scot

A new scam is targetting missing pet owners.
A new scam is targetting missing pet owners.

Colin Mathieson, spokesman for consumeradvice.scot, said: “Scammers can be very convincing in their approach, and it is despicable that these individuals are taking advantage of people at a vulnerable time.

“It’s important that you don’t share any of your personal or banking information with people contacting you out of the blue like this.

“Contact the vet that the scammer is claiming to be calling from using the official number from the vet’s website, or phone number officially listed for them online, or with directory enquiries.

“Scots consumers can report suspected scams and suspicious activity using the quick reporting tool at www.scamwatch.scot, or alternatively contact one of our specialist consumer advisers for free, impartial and practical advice.”

The advice for anyone who suspects that someone who contacts them is a scammer is:

  • Remain calm – hang up if at all unsure.
  • Do not share personal information – this can be used to perpetrate further scams.
  • Do not share banking or payment information.
  • Contact the official party using listed numbers – check online, or with directory enquiries and contact using these details
  • Report suspected scams at scamwatch.scot – this may help others.

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