Cheshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer is urging the owners of missing pets to be vigilant, following stories of people being conned out of cash by callous criminals purporting to have their lost pets.
After the issue was highlighted by a BBC North West investigation, the Commissioner is hoping this story will act as a reminder to animal lovers to remain cautious if they are contacted and asked for money after their beloved pet goes missing.
According to the BBC many pet owners have been approached, with £500 ‘rewards’ being asked for without the animals being seen. During these communications, threats to harm the animal are made by criminals hoping to scare owners into parting with their cash.
Police and Crime Commissioner, John Dwyer said:
“A pet is a much-loved member of the family, and when they go missing it can cause untold pain to their owners. It’s our natural instinct to spread the news far and wide to try and find a missing pet, and the fact that callous criminals are preying on people in a vulnerable moment for financial gain is abhorrent.
“If you receive communications asking for money for the safe return of your pet, think twice. No decent human being will keep your pet hostage and threaten to harm them. There is next to no chance that these criminals have the animal, and they will say anything to get you to part with your cash.
“So please be vigilant, and if you do wish to give reward money, don’t part with it until you know for sure your pet is coming home.”