THE RSPCA is warning pet owners of a scam which involves fraudsters trying to claim rewards for missing pets.
In 24 hours the animal welfare charity’s Birmingham Animal Hospital and Centre, at Newbrook Farm in Frankley Green, were notified by distressed members of the public who had received a scam call from someone falsely claiming to be from the charity.
A charity spokesperson said: “A member of the public has been contacted by someone claiming to be an RSPCA officer.
“They’ve been told that their missing pet is at Newbrook Farm or at a local vets and they must pay £200 for life-saving surgery or their pet will be euthanised, or are asking for a fee in order for the pet to be returned.
“The fraudsters are mirroring our phone number so the incoming call displays 0300 123 8585 which is particularly concerning.”
The charity does 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.
Anyone who is contacted about a missing pet in RSPCA care should ask for a reference number and the officer’s name and call our national call centre on 0300 1234 999 between 7am and 10pm.
If the call is not genuine, they should contact the police on 101.
The spokesperson added: “We’ve been contacted by five individuals who, thankfully, did not fall foul of the scam and contacted us to find out if we did in fact have their pet.
“If your pet is missing please alert your microchip company and inform local rescue centres and vet practices as well as speaking to neighbours and local businesses.
“If you are using missing pet posters or sharing your pet’s details online please be aware that your phone number may be used by scammers and be incredibly careful when offering reward money or sharing any banking details over the phone.”