Local families looking for lost pets have been getting disturbing phone calls from pranksters who got their information off a Craigslist posts. The callers made it look and sound like they were calling from the Connecticut Humane Society and told victims they had found the lost pets. Unfortunately, it was all a scam apparently just to cause more pain to the victims.
Losing a pet is an emotional time for any pet owner and the best possible scenario is for your pet to come home on its own, the next is to receive a call from someone who found your pet, safe and uninjured.
The Connecticut Humane Society has issued a warning about a scam, preying on vulnerable pet owners. The humane society said the culprit is taking to Craigslist to trick people who have lost their animals.
“Devastating would be the only word I can use that would come close,” said Amy.
Amy, who didn’t want to be identified, told NBC Connecticut she’s been searching for her cat, Bo, for over a month.
“He’s only a year old, and became a member of our family,” said Amy.
A few days ago, Amy posted a “lost pet” thread on Craigslist, hoping someone would respond after finding Bo. She said she was pleasantly surprised when a man reached out to her, claiming to be an employee at the Connecticut Humane Society.
“He [said he] believed he found my lost cat,” said Amy.
Amy said she and the man agreed to meet at night at the humane society’s office in Newington. But, when she and her family arrived, no one was there.
“At that point, I said, ‘ok, something’s fishy here.’”
Amy went home without her cat.
“My daughter cried the whole way there, thinking, ‘I hope it’s him,’ then cried the whole way home.”
Alicia Wright with the Connecticut Humane Society said other pet owners like Amy have been victimized over the past week.
“We’ve received several calls from people who thought we had their lost cats,” said Wright.
According to Wright, the person isn’t asking unsuspecting pet owners for money, just preying on their emotions.
“This is just a very cruel way to hurt people when they’re in the hour of need,” said Wright.
Meantime, Amy is still hopeful that the next time she hears from someone claiming to have found Bo, it’s the real deal.
“I’m hoping that somebody has him,” said Amy.
The Humane Society has posted a warning about the scam on Craig's List as well. The person these pet owners are speaking with does not represent the Connecticut Humane Society or any other shelter.
The Connecticut Humane Society is urging people who think they may have been scammed to file a police report.