A scam is circulating in Scotland with fraudsters contacting people who have missing pets.

Scammers, claiming to be calling from a vet are advising victims that their missing animal has been found and needs immediate treatment with payment required upfront.

Perth and Kinross Council Trading Standards team highlighted the scam today.

Advice Direct Scotland, which runs the national consumeradvice.scot service, has issued advice to pet owners on how to avoid being scammed and urged people to report scams at scamwatch.scot.

Colin Mathieson, spokesperson for consumeradvice.scot, said: “Scammers can be very convincing in their approach, and it is despicable that these individuals are taking advantage of people at a vulnerable time. 

The Herald:

“It’s important that you don’t share any of your personal or banking information with people contacting you out of the blue like this. 

“Contact the vet that the scammer is claiming to be calling from using the official number from the vet’s website, or phone number officially listed for them online, or with directory enquiries.

“Scots consumers can report suspected scams and suspicious activity using the quick reporting tool at www.scamwatch.scot, or alternatively contact one of our specialist consumer advisers for free, impartial and practical advice.”

They issued the following advice:

  • Remain calm – hang up if you are at all unsure.
  • Don’t share personal information – this can be used to perpetrate further scams.
  • Don’t share banking or payment information.
  • Contact the official party using listed numbers – check online, or with directory enquiries and contact using these details
  • Report suspected scams at scamwatch.scot – you might be able to help others.