News

Fraudster making money off pet-owner despair

Chilliwack RCMP say a fraudster is trying to cash in on the heart-break of lost pets.

Since March, police have received several complaints. Each time, the fraudster is contacting people with missing pets, presumably getting information about them from signs or social-media postings. People often include a picture and personal information about their pet, which the fraudster uses to appear authentic.

The fraudster claims to have the pet and asks for gas money to return the animal. After getting the gas money, the fraudster is never heard from again.

"This fraudster is capitalizing on the fact that people will do just about anything to have their pets returned," said RCMP Cst. Tracy Wolbeck.

The most obvious way to avoid being a victim, Wolbeck adds, is to not send money to anyone you don't know. Beyond that, the RCMP recommends withholding information when making signs or social media postings.

For example, if your pet has a crooked tail or unique markings, leave this out. That way, only someone who's actually found the animal can prove themselves legit.

"It is really unfortunate to have to put out a public warning of this nature but criminals will stoop very low to get what they want," Wolbeck said.

Anyone with information about this or similar incidents is asked to call the Chilliwack RCMP at 604-792-4611 or Crime Stoppers (anonymously) at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Triple O’s aiming to raise $30,000 for KidSport
 
Election 2014: Shelley Coburn seeks Langley City seat on Board of Education
 
Lower loonie to crimp cross-border shopping
Top 5 mistakes to avoid in donating to Typhoon Haiyan relief
 
Sources prepares for homelessness march
 
Toy drive gets help from Woody
The Great Pumpkins Weigh In
 
Richmond house among those in Parade of Renovated Homes
 
Mayor Malcolm Brodie to deliver annual address at chamber luncheon