Pet owners beware: another scam targeting people with lost pets in Lane County

Pet owners beware: another scam targeting people with lost pets in Lane County
Posted on 06/03/2024

Pet owners in Lane County are being targeting once again by scammers representing themselves as Lane County Animal Services.


The scammers are contacting pet owners who have shared information about a lost pet online or via neighborhood posters. The scammers contact the pet owners and represent themselves as “Dave” from Lane County Animal Services. “Dave” then tells the pet owner that their pet has been found but is injured and requires emergency veterinary care. Pet owners are told they must either provide bank account and routing numbers or make a payment via CashApp or other app before their pet can be treated.


This is a scam. Lane County Animal Services would never: 1) demand banking information from residents, 2) demand payment via CashApp or other payment app or via gift cards and money orders, 3) withhold emergency medical care for an animal in its care pending payment from a pet owner, or 4) contact residents via text message without prior arrangement.


“This is such a cruel way to scam people,” said Lane County Animal Services Manager Michael Johns. “The scammers take advantage of how much we all love our pets and create a crisis situation that puts pet owners in panic mode and makes them less likely to spot the red flags. When in doubt, hang up and call us directly at 541-682-3645.”


Similar scams have been reported in other states.


More details about the scam:

  • The name being used is “Dave” from Lane County Animal Services. No such person exists.
  • The number being used by the scammer is 310-596-2186.


Other common warning signs of a scam:

  • Pressure to make a quick decision.
  • Use of high-pressure tactics and “limited time” offers.
  • Requests to confirm your identity and personal information. 
  • Use of threats if you don’t comply. 
  • Discourages you from contacting others or ending the call before you make a payment or share personal information. 


How to make a report:


If contacted, people are encouraged to make a report to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at The FBI maintains the Internet Crime Complaint Center and is the central hub for reporting cyber crime. 


If a local report is needed, people can contact their local law enforcement agency using a non-emergency phone number.