Scammers are targeting owners of lost pets, demanding money for emergency surgeries.

SACRAMENTO – An old phone scam for missing pet owners in the Sacramento area is starting to get a new twist.

On Monday, the Bradshaw Animal Shelter sent out an advisory about a phone scam they’re starting to see locally.

The scam follows a classic extortion script: A caller falsely claims that the victim’s lost pet is actually in the care of a shelter and needs emergency surgery. That’s when the scammer asks for money for surgery.

Like many phone scams that have surfaced recently, authorities say the suspects use pressure tactics such as caller ID spoofing to make it appear as if it’s coming from the real Bradshaw Animal Shelter.

Shelter officials say their staff will never ask for financial information over the phone.

It’s unclear exactly how many people have been targeted by the missing pet scam, but pet owners are urged to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the sheriff’s office’s non-emergency line at (916) 874-5115. It is emphasized.

The shelter notes that they do reach out to owners of lost pets if their animal is microchipped, but will never ask for payment over the phone.

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