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Scammers prey on lost dog's owner

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: Apr 08 2014 08:42:49 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 08 2014 08:44:23 PM CDT
ORLAND, Calif. -

An Orland woman has been working extensively for the last month trying to find her 5-year-old German Sheppard that ran away.

Monday, she got a sign of hope that someone found her dog - but it turns out it was a lie.

Sheriff deputies said someone tried to rob her of $3,000 saying they had her dog.

Alane Allison said she was contacted by a scammer who used two different phone numbers. He told her that she needed to send the money or he would sell her dog.

Allison can't understand why her dog ran away from home.

“It’s just very weird that she disappeared,” Allison said.

She left her with her other dog a month ago when she went to a doctor's appointment in Chico.

“I came home from Chico and he was here but she wasn't,” Allison said.

She then posted her dog’s picture on the internet with her phone number and a reward if someone returned her dog. Then a sliver of hope came Monday morning, Allison got a text message from someone said they had her dog.

“I was outside feeding the horses. I saw it and I got kind of excited,” Allison said.

Allison then asked that person if she could see a picture of her dog to make sure it was hers.

“He said I don't have a camera phone, and I'll take $3,000 for her,” Allison said. "He didn’t type in fluid English when they were texting me, so I started getting suspicious.”

The man then asked her to wire the money to a Western Union account.

“Then I knew it was a scam,” Allison said.

Allison called the sheriff's office - and deputies told her similar scams happen frequently.

“We get the perennial or proverbial stories of you won a prize type thing give us a few dollars and we'll send you the entire prize scam that come from overseas,” said Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones.

The Sheriff's Office said scammers are attracted to anyone advertising a big reward for their lost pets - and they will do anything to get money out of them.

“It could lead to a burglary at your residence, and somebody searching for that money,” Jones said.

“I think it's very cruel. I texted him that,” Allison said. “I said 'you're a very cruel person' because they are preying on people that have problems.”

The Glenn County Sheriff's Office said they have no leads on the suspect. They say it's very hard to track scammers like this down, and their advice to be smart and know who you are dealing with.