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According to a report given to us from the City of Highland, scam artists are now preying on seniors who have lost a pet. The scam artistís goal is to con you out of your money. This scam most often happens when a scam artist sees the ad or flyer that you have posted for your lost pet and: Uses the description from your ad to convince you that he/she has your pet and then demands a reward to return your pet. Claims to be a truck driver who found your injured pet while driving in your area.

The scam artist then asks that you wire money or provide your credit card information to pay for the veterinarian bill before your pet can be returned. Offers to return your pet for a reward, when it was the scam artist who stole your pet! Seniors are being tricked by scam artists pretending to have their pets!

The following tips are recommended: License your pet properly; senior discounts may be available. Consider micro-chipping your pet; senior discounts may be available. Attach a tag with your telephone number to your petís collar. Keep your pet in the house, in your fenced yard, or on a leash at all times. If your pet becomes lost: Contact your local animal shelter and give them a description of your pet. Ask your neighbors to be on the lookout for your pet. Create a lost pet ad or flyer; use a different telephone number than the one on your petís tag. Avoid putting a full description of your pet in the ad or flyer. Ask callers for details about your pet that you did not include in the ad or flyer. Ask for the name, address, and telephone number of the veterinarian where the caller claims to have taken your pet. Verify the veterinarian exists and then contact the vet directly. Finally, NEVER send money or provide credit card information to someone you do not know!

If you think you may be a victim of a scam, contact San Bernardino County Adult Protective Services (APS) at 877-565-2020, or your local police department.