From the Forsyth County, North Carolina webpage
Unfortunately there are scam artists who prey on grieving pet owners in search of a lost pet. There are several scams you should look out for if you have posted a lost pet ad in the newspaper or have put signs or posters up in your neighborhood.
Be wary of anyone who calls to tell you they have found your pet and will meet you at a public location to give you your pet and collect the reward you have offered. When you get there, they may tell you your pet is in their car and will go get him for you as soon as you pay the reward. Once given the reward money the person will disappear.
Also look out for the person who calls and says they have your dog and will return him to you if you will pay a reward. This person doesn’t have your dog either and is just trying to talk you out of your money.,
Another scam to be aware of is the “long distance trucker” who calls to say he found your lost dog on his way out of town and to save your pet from injury, he picked up your dog and took him in his truck to New Mexico or Arizona (or some other state a long way away). The trucker will offer to ship your dog home if you will just forward him the money needed to fly your dog back home. The scam artist never had your pet and will just keep your money.
Tips when advertising a lost pet:
- Never put your pet’s name in the ad – that will give an unscrupulous person control over your pet. It’s also a recommended that you not put your pet’s name on his or her ID tag for the same reason.
- Put only a partial description of your pet in the ad, so you can have callers describe your pet to you over the phone. A scam artist will not be able to describe your pet to you.
- For your safety, don’t put your home address in the ad. Just list your street or the vicinity in which your pet was lost.