Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / May 22, 2023
(Castle Rock, Colo.) A heartbreaking new con targets owners searching for lost pets near Castle Rock.
Scammers are spoofing the Dumb Friends League’s phone number and reporting the pet has been taken to the Castle Rock Buddy Center. During the call, the scammers say the pet is receiving medical treatment, such as shots, and police transported the furry friend to the shelter.
The callers tend to say there is a third-party veterinarian providing the medical treatment who can be paid via Venmo, Cashapp or another personal finance app. This is a scam: no financial information, especially through a finance phone app, will be requested over the phone by the Buddy Center.
Castle Rock Police Public Information Officer Taylor Temby said the department encourages people who receive similar calls that are questionable to hang up, look up the organization’s phone number and call them directly. So far only a handful of people have reported the scam.
Additionally, Temby noted that Castle Rock’s Municipal Code requires all dogs over 6 months old be licensed.
“This can assist with your dog’s return home in the event they get lost,” Temby said. “Any lost pets located by our Animal Control Officers will be scanned for a microchip or any other identifying information. If none is found, Animal Control will take them to Buddy Center located in Castle Rock.”
The scammers appear to use online listing sites for lost pets, like Pawboost, to identify victims and obtain contact information.
More information on Castle Rock’s protocol can be found by visiting CRgov.com/AnimalControl.
The Castle Rock Police Department is investigating these calls. If you’ve received these calls, contact Castle Rock Officer B. Corriea at (303) 663-6100. If you have a lost pet in Castle Rock, please contact Buddy Center directly at 303-751-5772.