Have you ever gotten a message on social media, containing a heartbreaking image of a shelter dog or cat, urging you to donate money immediately to help save its life? The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has issued a fraud alert, warning animal lovers to take a closer look at who is asking for donations before sending any money.
According to the LADA’s website, so-called “animal shelter scammers” could be preying on your compassion. These people will actually visit shelters, take pictures of animals in cages, and then post them on social media, warning people that they are in danger of dying in a “high-kill shelter” unless they receive your money to help rescue them. Sometimes they also use old pictures of shelter animals that they have taken from animal welfare websites around the country.
Besides social media, these images can also be posted on flyers and could be sent to you via email or regular mail. Some scammers will even call you on the phone.
How can well-meaning animal lovers protect themselves from this type of animal rescue scam? The LADA offers the following common-sense tips:
- Verify that the organization or person asking you for money is a legitimate 501(C)3 charity. This information should be readily available if the charity is real.
- Double check the information on the specific animal. Is it a real animal currently housed in a shelter that is in imminent danger of euthanasia?
- If the animal is currently living in a shelter, talk to the shelter directly and ask them what is being done to help the animal. Are they authorizing anyone to solicit funds to save the animal from euthanasia?
Obviously, many legitimate animal welfare non-profits welcome your donation, but they certainly don’t want you to send your money to a 3rd party scammer using images of their animals to cheat you out of your hard-earned cash!
Interested in learning more? The LADA has created a video about animal shelter scams which you can see here:
18 thoughts on “Fraud Alert for Animal Lovers: Beware of Animal Rescue Scams”
Honestly, some people are so unscrupulous. Well done for publicising this x
Happy to spread the word, and thankful that the LA District Attorney’s office has provided us with such good info!
It’s a shame that people will do things like this. We have to be on our guard these days, in all sorts of situations, to keep from being scammed. Thanks for sharing.
Yes, preying on people’s compassion is pretty low, but it’s good to be informed about the possibility that it could happen to you.
It’s beyond despicable that people would prey on people’s hearts through a scam. Excellent video with great tips-thank you for sharing!
Thank you, it is a very informative video and we’re so pleased that the LADA made it available on Vimeo! Hope the word gets around.
Doing my part-shared on Twitter and FB. 🙂 Scammers need to be shut down!
Oh, yay! Awesome! ❤
The more people know, the greater chance of those low-life’s not succeeding. 😇
UNBELIEVABLE!! Scammers will exploit everything. I hate them. Thanks for the info and I will share.
Thanks, this is definitely something that should be shared so that kind-hearted people don’t get scammed!
This is so wrong on so many levels. Thanks for sharing the alert as I had no idea.
Thank you, such an important notice to share so that compassionate animal lovers don’t get taken!
What sorry excuses for humanity would prey on the kindness of others with such a cruel scam? Absolutely sickening.
It really is…to prey on the compassion of decent people is disgusting. We all need to be aware of scams like this.
Thanks for bringing this scam to light. These scammers are inhuman beings that prey on innocent animals and kind givers.
Yes, we agree that it’s pretty low to prey on kind-hearted people, and every bit of awareness can help.