When it comes to being reunited with a lost pet, social media can be both a blessing and a curse. A post asking for help searching for your last cat or dog can reach hundreds of eyeballs in just a few minutes. Unfortunately, not everyone who sees your post is a pet lover who wants to get your fur baby back home. Some are scammers who see you as a target. 

That’s exactly what’s happening to one woman in Southeast Boise. Back in March, she posted on Nextdoor asking for help searching for her one-year-old black cat, Moon. Her post got a lot of “sad” or “love” reactions from neighbors but produced no leads about the cat’s location. She made another post in June, explaining that Moon still hadn’t come home and she’d be willing to pay $500 to anyone who returned the cat safely. 

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Five months later, she got a message from a random e-mail address from a man claiming to have found Moon. It came with a photo of a black cat, that may or may not be Moon, poking its head out of a carrier. The two originally arranged to meet up at a Walgreens location on Overland, so that the woman could verify that it was her pet. And that’s when things took a turn. 

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The man simply replied with a Venmo handle. The cat’s owner explained that she tried to find an acceptable solution, but the person who allegedly has the animal refused to even meet her unless they got part of the reward upfront. She’s heartbroken and naturally curious to find out if the cat is hers. 

The post racked up over 110 comments from neighbors who didn’t want to break her heart any more than it already was, but nearly every single one of them said this felt like a scam Unfortunately, “missing pet scams” aren’t uncommon in the Boise area. 

A few months ago the Idaho Humane Society warned missing pet owners that scammers had been surfing local missing pet groups on social media and used contact information to reach out to owners. They’d impersonate an animal control officer and demand payment over the phone to get their animal back. That’s something that the REAL humane society will never do.

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