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Kamloops woman warns about missing pet scam

Cindy Wallis's bengal cat Rosie went missing near the end of April and she was hopeful for Rosie's return after receiving a phone call from someone who claimed to have found her.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Cindy Wallis
June 05, 2017 - 6:30 PM

'HE SWORE ON HIS CHILD'S LIFE.'

KAMLOOPS - A Kamloops woman is sounding off after apparently being duped by a man claiming to have her missing cat.

Cindy Wallis says her three-year-old bengal cat Rosie went missing near the end of April in the Dufferin neighbourhood, and immediately she had put up posters and social media posts hoping for tips to come in with Rosie's whereabouts.

Wallis was devastated with the potential loss of her cat. She went to the B.C. SPCA, and put Rosie's litter box and blanket outside in hopes of getting her to come home.

"I didn’t know what else to do," she says.

Then, a ray of hope for Wallis. A man named Scott phoned her.

"I had offered a reward, not that I have (a lot of) money, I just really wanted her back," Wallis says. "I was overwhelmed. He said 'are you missing a cat?' I was over the moon."

Scott told Wallis when he found her cat she was very skinny, so he took her in. He also said he didn't use social media often so didn't see her missing cat post. Then he then asked Wallis to reimburse him for the money he had spent on the cat so far, adding he didn't want the reward, just $200 for everything he purchased for Rosie.

Wallis told him she wanted to see Rosie before sending him any money, but he told her e-transfers took a while so he wanted $100 upfront before she got Rosie. Wallis obliged and Scott told her he would be leaving his home soon with her cat.

"He kept me on the phone until the money went through," Wallis says. "I was outside waiting for him when it actually went through."

Wallis says Scott phoned one last time to ask for her address and then she never heard from him again. The phone number he gave her was out of service and he didn't respond to her emails.

"Even though you're seeing red flags, you choose to ignore them because there's that small chance he does have Rosie," Wallis says. "I got scammed."

Wallis says this was a classic case of a scammer preying on someone's feelings. She was in a very emotional state when Scott called her, so she was willing to do anything to get her furry friend back.

"He said to me 'I would never scam you, that would be fraud and bad karma'," Wallis says. "He swore on his child’s life."

Wallis reported the incident to Kamloops RCMP.

Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says the detachment has received two reports of these incidents in the past two to three weeks.

"We don’t get them very often, these two are kind of an anomaly," Shelkie says. 

She says if you are going to meet someone who you believe to have your pet, meet in a public place. If you haven't offered a reward, don't give them any money. If you do believe someone has your pet, call the police for assistance. 

"Give them the reward only when you see your pet and actually have it in hand," Shelkie says.

As for Wallis, she says she has learned her lesson and hopes her story helps prevent this from happening to other people. 

"Lesson learned for me, losing my $100, that was sheer stupidity, I should have known better," Wallis says. "I don’t understand lying and deception and betrayal. It just blows me away that people can actually do that."

The man calling himself Scott hasn't responded to iNFOnews.ca's request for comment.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ashley Legassic or call 250-319-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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