The image of a sad puppy in a cage at a shelter will inspire many animal lovers to donate money to rescue organizations, but scammers may be preying on their compassion.
In the Animal Shelter Scam, crooks will post pictures of the animals with false information about “high kill” shelters and imminent death unless they immediately receive money to rescue the pets.
Consumers may be contacted on social media, email, phone or U.S. mail seeking donations to rescue an animal. The money raised by scammers doesn’t go to the care of the animal, sheltering agencies or to the adopting party or organization.
• Verify that the organization soliciting funds is a legitimate 501(C)3 charitable group.
• Double check that the animal exists, where it is housed and the true extent of its needs.
• Ask the sheltering agency what help already has been provided to the animal and whether it really is at risk of death.
For a printable version of this fraud alert, click here.
Deputy District Attorney Jessie McGrath explains how the scam works in the above video.
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