LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) — Scammers are taking advantage of Middle Tennessee families looking for lost pets. This week, a Lebanon woman was cheated out of $400 after a company told her they would come to her home and search for her missing dog.
Michelle Anderson’s French Bulldog, ‘Norm’, enjoys laying around and not moving too much, so his disappearance has left her in disbelief.
“Everyone knows French Bulldogs are kind of a lazier breed, so he doesn’t go anywhere, he gets hot, he walks a little bit, so I’m still flabbergasted. I just don’t understand where the heck he would have went,” Anderson said.
According to Anderson, the last time she saw her pet was on Sunday, May 14, when he was left outside to relax in the shade by the pool.
Since Norm’s disappearance, Anderson has put up missing dog posts across social media. She said one of her Facebook ads ended up connecting her to someone claiming to be a professional pet finder and offering to help track down Norm.
“They have a 97% success rate, they provided me because I’m, like, ‘I’m still a little leery, I’m still not sure,'” Anderson said, adding that the company sounded legitimate.
Anderson’s love for Norm drove her to pay the company $400 for their services. Instead, the company requested more money from her, but then they never showed up to search for Norm.
Currently, Norm is still missing. If you have any information about this dog, you are asked to call the Lebanon Police Department at 615-444-2323.
Lost pet scams are becoming more popular online. Con artists will even go as far as to claim they’ve found a missing pet, request money from the owner(s), and then disappear once they receive the payment.
Another Middle Tennessee woman, who is a member of several pet Facebook groups, knows people who have fallen victim to that scam.
“‘A person has my pet, but they want money,’ and then when they wouldn’t send them the money, they either blocked them or refused to message them anymore,” Sara Sweeney explained. “And some have even sent the money to these people and then never saw their pet again.”
If you want to learn more about protecting yourself from lost pet scams, check out the Better Business Bureau’s website.