Your adopted furry friend could be exposing you to fraud

According to Huffington Post, “An average of 65% U.S. households include a pet, most of which have been adopted from a local animal shelter. When adopting a pet, they almost always come microchipped to help aid in their return home if lost. Each chip includes a 10-digit number that has been registered to the adopter, however, most microchipping companies strongly suggest that the owner’s name, number, and email be registered to the chip as well.”

This practice makes sense for the company to contact the owner, however, scammers can easily gain access to this information.  Once the scammer obtains this information, they will disguise themselves as the chipping company and will contact the pet owner via email or text. Using the pet’s name, they will claim that there is some issue that needs attention. Replying to the message will expose the owner to potential future phishing scams and identity theft.

To help combat these scammers, consider the following:

  • Check it out, before clicking. If you receive an email out of the blue, allegedly from the microchipping company, contact them using a trusted telephone number (from your original paperwork or receipt) to verify whether or not this communication is truly legitimate.
  • Check your credit report. If you have responded to a message that seems to have been sent by the microchipping company, immediately check your credit report for any unauthorized charges. You can check your credit report by visiting  www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • Check to see if your information is public. The internet in general and social media in particular is a boon to scammers, because of all the information readily available, often by our own hand. Be careful what you post on social media about your family and your pets. It’s also a good idea to see if your name and telephone number is published on the internet. Simply do a Google search of your phone number and email address. If it is, contact the site that is showing your personal information and ask for them to make it private.
  • Ask about the microchipping company’s privacy policy. Ask the company if the information you have provided to them is public. If so, you can request that they make it private on their site to where only they can take advantage of it if your pet were to go missing.

Source: Huffington Post

To read the original article, visit Can Your Adopted Pet Expose You To Fraud?

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to https://www.bbb.org/northern-alabama/