WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — There's a new scam preying on people who have lost a pet. One local victim nearly fell for it.
"[They're] trying to take advantage of people who are missing their animals and it's just really cruel," said Sam Struble, a cat owner in Williamsville.
Struble's cat Tillie ran away on February 24, right before the major winter storm. He's been posting on social media and hanging signs since then.
He also posted information on Pawboost.com, a website known for connecting people to their lost pets.
Just when hope was lost, Struble got a text message from an unknown number saying Tillie had been found.
"I was so happy, telling all my family members," said Struble. Just to find out it was a lie.
Once the unknown person asked for a six-digit code, Struble knew it was a scam.
Struble isn't the only victim. It started back in December, when founders of Pawboost first noticed people complaining of scams.
The scammer texts the person saying they've found their pet, but ask them for a google verification code to prove they are the true owner. If you send the code, the scammer can use your phone number to run more scams, per Clayton Gladieux, Co-Founder of Pawboost.
Struble is still looking for Tillie. She's a two-year-old calico-tabby mix with an orange patch over her left eye. If you have information, call 716-689-5775 or text 716-529-9054.