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The RSPCA has issued a warning, urging those who have lost pets to be aware of scammers, claiming to be from the charity in a bid to dupe people out of money.
Many people have been victims of scams since the beginning of the year, like the Covid passport scam (opens in new tab) and sneaky Royal Mail scam (opens in new tab), which have resulted in hundreds of people handing over bank account information.
And now the RSPCA has issued a warning after scammers posing as representatives from a charity defrauded people who were desperate to reunite with their lost pets.
According to the manager of a Warwickshire vet, scammers had targeted a woman, claiming that her lost cat had been discovered and was waiting for her at the surgery.
Although, when she arrived at the vet's office, the staff had no record of her cat.
Before she was given information about her cats' whereabouts, the scammers demanded that she pay a £5 fee.
The scammers had found the woman through internet ads after she posted begging for information about her missing cat.
In response to the recent scam, an RSPCA spokeswoman said, "We are disgusted by reports that scammers are preying on upset people who have lost their pets.
"We do not ask for money for veterinary care for missing pets over the phone in this way and would urge anyone who receives such a call not to give out their personal details."
Adding, “If anyone is contacted about a missing pet in RSPCA care they should ask for a reference number and the officer’s name and call our national call centre on 0300 1234999 between 7am and 10pm.
If your pet goes missing, contact your microchip company, local rescue groups, and vets, as well as neighbours and local businesses.
The RSPCA has urged that if you receive a bogus call, you should immediately report it to the police and never hand over any money.
Alternatively, if you are contacted about a missing pet in RSPCA care, request a reference number and the officer's name and phone the national call centre on 0300 1234 999. (between 7am and 10pm).