Scammers Target Owners of Missing Pets

Scammers Target Pet OwnersSome particularly cold-hearted scammers are targeting users of lost pet forums with phony ransom demands, the BBC reports.

“A BBC North West investigation found scammers have targeted scores of dog and cat lovers with threatening calls,” the BBC says. “They prey on owners by claiming to have their lost pets before demanding cash.

One victim, from Greater Manchester, said a man claiming to have found her Yorkshire terrier wanted £2,000 and said she would never see her dog again if she went to the police. Detectives in Cumbria have also told the BBC they are dealing with claims from more than 200 victims across the UK.”

Another woman named Emma posted online asking if anyone had seen her missing cat, and was contacted by a man demanding a ransom for her cat’s safe return.

“A week went by and then we got the phone call,” Emma told the BBC. “This man just said, ‘I’ve got Ziggy - I want £500.’ I said I don't have that kind of money and his voice got more aggressive and he said, ‘if you don't pay me £500 your cat's gone’, at this point I was hysterical.”

Last year, a man named Brandon Woolveridge received three years in prison for running these types of scams. Woolveridge was accused of calling owners of missing pets and threatening to shoot the pets if he didn’t receive £1,000.

Detective Inspector Amanda Sykes advises users to be wary of people who claim to have found missing pets, especially if they ask for money before returning the animal.

“Be very careful about any information that you give them and if you agree to meet them, agree to meet them in a public place and have somebody with you,” she says. “If you wish to give reward money, please do not give it until you have sight of your much loved pet.”

KnowBe4 enables your workforce to make smarter security decisions every day. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust the KnowBe4 platform to strengthen their security culture and reduce human risk.

The BBC has the story.

Free Phishing Security Test

Would your users fall for convincing phishing attacks? Take the first step now and find out before bad actors do. Plus, see how you stack up against your peers with phishing Industry Benchmarks. The Phish-prone percentage is usually higher than you expect and is great ammo to get budget.

PST ResultsHere's how it works:

  • Immediately start your test for up to 100 users (no need to talk to anyone)
  • Select from 20+ languages and customize the phishing test template based on your environment
  • Choose the landing page your users see after they click
  • Show users which red flags they missed, or a 404 page
  • Get a PDF emailed to you in 24 hours with your Phish-prone % and charts to share with management
  • See how your organization compares to others in your industry

Go Phishing Now!

PS: Don't like to click on redirected buttons? Cut & Paste this link in your browser:

Subscribe to Our Blog

Comprehensive Anti-Phishing Guide

Get the latest about social engineering

Subscribe to CyberheistNews