Pet owners warn others after almost falling victim to alleged scam


HERMITAGE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Some people will go great lengths to make a quick buck.

In this case, it’s an alleged scammer, manipulating owners of lost pets to obtain cash rewards.

Thankfully, due to some quick thinking, the couple never fell victim, but they’re warning others on what to be on the lookout for.

Emily Flores and Ryan Carver’s dog, Ollie, ran off last Wednesday. The owners had just touched down in L.A for Thanksgiving with family, only to learn that during a fire alarm test in their apartment complex, the maintenance team accidentally let their dog out. 

Like many concerned pet owners, the couple created a flyer with Ollie’s photo on it, a phone number to contact them with and a reference to a $100 reward.

It wasn’t long until they received a text.

Emily said she immediately called the person back on the other line. But there was no answer.

“They immediately sent me a text message saying they couldn’t talk to me over the phone because their connection was poor,” Flores said. “That right there already sparked a flag.”

So she asked for a picture and was sent this:

​As the couple’s suspicions grew, the patience of the suspect, shrinks.

“You don’t think any of these things are going to happen to you don’t know your dog is going to get loose there are some people out there, out of all the good people that have helped search for our dog, there are people out there that will take advantage of someone that’s in this state [of mind],” Carver said.

Thankfully, the couple never paid or met up with the mystery man or woman on the other line, but they hope you’ll pay attention to the BBB’s advice:

  1. Limiting the information in your social posts. Omit information about unique physical attributes. This can help you verify if someone really found your pet.​
  2. Watch for spoofed numbers– if you get a call from someone claiming to have your pet, ask them for a phone number where you can call them back.​
  3. Ask for a photo. If the “finder” gets defensive or makes excuses, it’s likely a scam.
  4. Never wire money or use a prepaid debit card to pay anyone you don’t know.​
  5. Microchip and/or id tag your pet.​

The couple contacted the Hermitage Police Precinct about the ordeal, but police told them there isn’t enough information to file a report and to check back next week.

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