Cheatham County Animal Control warns of new scam

Local News

CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – For the second time, someone appears to be posing as animal control in Cheatham County. The most recent scam, involved text messages.

“It just really makes you feel vulnerable.” said Liz West, who received the phony texs.

The texts claimed “distressed animals” had been reported at her home and then went on to request a “wellness check”. The texts inclued “.ccgov” in each message.

“When I first saw it and saw that ‘.ccgov’, I was concerned that it was something coming from us. We were able to get with our I.T. company and just confirm, that it was not anything from Cheatham County Government.” said Kristin Reid, Cheatham County Animal Control Director

Cheatham County Animal Control told News 2, a complaint has never been filed against West. Instead, the texts where from a scammer, hoping she’d call back and turn over personal information. Their agency said they will never email, call or text.

The Federal Communciations Commission identifies these types of messages as a “smishing” scam.

“We actually send an officer to the residence if there is a complaint. If no one is home, we will leave a door hanger or slip with our contact information.”

Back in Februrary, Cheatham County dealt with more impersonators. Letters were put in mailboxes, warning that roaming pets would be trapped.

Reid said she’s not sure why the scams have continued, but she wants to keep residents informed and aware.

“Anytime you {a resident} have anything that you’re suspicous of, give us a call.”

She adds that residents in other parts of Middle Tennessee should also contact their local animal control if they have concerns.

You can find more about avoiding Smishing scams here.

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