Millions of Facebook users warned over heart-wrenching dog scam that keeps spreading

Millions of Facebook users warned over heart-wrenching dog scam that keeps spreading

DOG lovers have been warned not to fall for a heartbreaking scam that’s exploded on Facebook.

The ruse is spreading across local groups on the platform, luring people in with fake posts about lost or injured pets.

An example of what the scam looks like

In some disturbing cases it relates to missing children as well.

The posts usually follow a similar theme, saying something like: “Hi all I’m desperately trying to find the owner of this sweet girl I picked up about half an hour ago along side the road in the (location) area.

“She has been taken to the vets but does not have a chip.

“Please help bump this post so she can be reunited with her owner asap.”

It’s not uncommon for people to post things like lost dogs or missing children on local Facebook groups given the sense of community many hold.

The idea behind the scam is to pull on your heartstrings and get you to share the post.

But unfortunately it’s a nasty con.

The purpose behind it is so fraudsters can go and edit the post after to something completely different.

According to the Better Business Bureau, they’ll put something like a deceptive rental ad or a link pointing to a survey that “guarantees” a cash prize.

But because you’ve now shared it on your profile, friends may think it’s genuine and click it.

So you’ve unintentionally set Facebook friends onto dubious pages where they can be scammed.

“These bait-and-switch ads aim to either get a deposit for a rental property before the user gets a chance to see the home – or get your personal information, which could lead to identity theft,” the BBB warns.

It’s a cruel trick, as genuine cases could get mixed up among them.

A Meta spokesperson told The Sun: “We’re sorry to hear people are being misled in this way.

“We invest heavily in technology and people to remove scammers from our platforms.

“We also work closely with Stop Scams UK to help victims and remove scams at the source.”

How to spot a scammer on Facebook

There are ways to work out whether the person posting something in a Group is a scammer or not.

Firstly, click on their profile and see where they’re from.

If it says from somewhere far away that should be an instant red flag.

Then look at the type of account they have.

If they don’t have many friends or followers, it means they’re very likely a con artist.

That’s because bad actors are usually caught and their accounts banned, meaning they have to create a new one each time.

You should also see how long they’ve been a member – if it’s very recent, that’s definitely not a good sign.

Look at the comments as well, some members are good at highlighting these criminals.

Another tip is copy and pasting the text of their post in Google to see if others have reported it.

Finally, you can do a reverse image search of the pet on Google as well, to see if it’s been used somewhere else.

If you do suspect a fraudster, be sure to report them.

It prevents others from potentially falling victim.

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