Beware of This ‘Lost Dog’ Scam That is Circulating Around Lafayette Facebook Groups
If you see a Facebook post about a dog that was found roaming around the streets of Lafayette, be sure to do your research before opening up your pockets or donating any money or time to have it "rehomed."
As much as we all would love to help an adorable animal get back into a safe home, if you see this type of listing, it is more than likely a scam—and lots of people in Lafayette have already fallen for it.
What is the scam?
Multiple people have been scammed by someone claiming to have found a Saint Bernard dog "wandering around the streets." The scam claims that the dog was found by a "police friend" of the scammer who reached out to the dog's owner but was told that they "didn't want the dog back."
When people inquire about helping out, the scammer asks for a rehoming fee or a deposit and then the scammer goes ghost.
Where are people posting it?
While this scam exists throughout the collective internet, the specific one that I'm writing about today has been circulating around group members of the Lafayette, LA/Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook page.
From there, people are sharing the link with friends through messenger, texting, etc.
I've seen it posted from four other accounts and shared by friends. But they change the post and turn off the comments so they can't be outed. They want you to message them and ask for a rehoming fee or deposit and then they ghost the rescue.
According to a friend who was scammed, the scam keeps going because the listings constantly change. For instance, that cute Saint Bernard wandering the streets of Lafayette is now a rental listing.
And guess what? That's a scam too. Instead of being scammed out of a rehoming fee, people are being scammed out of a rental deposit.
Who are these scammers and where are they from?
While it's hard to tell exactly where these scammers are located, they all seem to be foreign. Speaking with a few people who have been scammed, it seems like most of them are from Nigeria with at least one being from Australia.
How can you tell if it's a fake account or a bot scammer?
Well, the golden rule of scamming always applies. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Other than that, be leary of people who don't have any other content posted on their page, no mutual friends, and no real connection to Lafayette or anywhere else for that matter.
Another red flag is if the subject of the scam is leaning heavily on something that tugs at heartstrings (dogs, babies, etc.) or deals that appeal to people who are on a budget and looking for a good deal (rental property, vehicles, etc.)
Last but not least, those duplicate accounts of people who you already see on your friends' list.
What else are they scamming people with?
It's almost impossible to list every scam here being that there are so many out there but what I can do is give you a heads up on some of the most popular scams of 2022 so far.
Everything from "You've Won" scams to romance scams and every type of fake charity scam in between. Phishing scams are forever popular and people will literally stop at nothing to get your personal information.
This includes (but is not limited to) suspicious links "about you," as well as fake friend requests from duplicate accounts of people you swore you were already friends with.
Oh, also search for "highland cows." That one is definitely a doozy.
Check out this list of popular scams from VPNoverview (I swear it's not a scam, lol) and stay safe in these social media streets.