Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) August 20, 2013
Scambook, the Internet’s leading online complaint resolution platform, is warning dog owners of fake animal control officer scams after a fraudster infiltrated a Florida retirement community and stole $550 from an elderly couple. Possessing a fraudulent badge, ID, and business cards, the scammer was allowed access into the community and cited alleged complaints from neighbors, causing the victims to choose between paying $550 immediately or having their dog taken away.
“Scammers often prey on the elderly, who are more likely to trust officials, but all dog owners are at risk of being victims of such a scam. In order to protect yourself and others in your community, dog owners should educate themselves and help raise awareness about this scam,” says Kase Chong, Scambook’s Director of Marketing.
In Lake Worth, Florida last month, the scammer visited the Valencia Shores retirement community driving a white truck and representing himself as an officer from an “independent company for animal care and control.” As WPTV reported,
“He had a badge, had an ID, gave us a business card and represented himself completely as being part of an independent company for animal care and control,” [community homeowner’s association president] Abe Fenster said. *
Seniors and all dog owners should protect themselves by knowing their rights. Although animal control laws vary by state and county, pets are considered property and therefore an animal control officer cannot legally remove a dog without a judge’s order. Even if in violation of the city noise ordinances or leash laws, an animal control officer will cite the owner and not take the dog without due process.
Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control Operations manager David Walesky made sure to clarify the issue, telling WPTV:
“If anybody comes to your house and says give me money I’m from the county. I’m going to take your dog. That’s not us. That’s not what we do.” *
Another rule of thumb is to remember that no real law enforcement officer will ever require those being cited to pay immediately and on site. Any threats placed towards a victim, or other suspicious behavior, are red flags to call the local police.
Scambook is an online complaint resolution platform dedicated to obtaining justice for victims of fraud with unprecedented speed and accuracy. By building communities and providing resources on the latest scams, Scambook arms consumers with the up-to-date information they need to stay on top of emerging schemes. Since its inception, Scambook has resolved over $10 million in reported consumer damages. For more information, visit scambook.com.