We’ve been made aware that community members who have lost their pets are being targeted by someone posing as a third party from the Roanoke Valley SPCA. THIS IS A SCAM. The scammer is asking for a credit card number in order to treat their found pet who was supposedly hit by a car. We know of at least two people who have been targeted in the last hour, but do not know how many more are out there.

This is what we have been told by two victims:

A person or persons have been targeting individuals who have posted their pets as missing. The scammer is calling the victims using a blocked number and claiming that they are with Animal Care and Alliance. They allege to be a third party representative of the Roanoke Valley SPCA. The scammer says that the victim’s missing pet has been found, but that they have been hit by a car and have a dislocated shoulder. The scammer asks the victim to verify microchip information and asks for a credit card number and authorization to treat the pet. One report said the scammer claimed to be a lead veterinarian named William Taylor. When the targeted victims raised questions to the scammer, they were threatened and told that if they didn’t pay, they would lose their dog.

This is an appalling scam that preys on those who have lost their pets. The Roanoke Valley SPCA does not take in or treat stray animals, including lost pets. The Roanoke Valley SPCA would also NEVER ask for a credit card payment over the phone or hold a pet hostage for payment. We have notified the Roanoke City Police Department, but we want the public to be aware of what is happening immediately. If you or anyone you know has been affected by the scam, please reach out to the Roanoke City Police Department at: (540) 853-2212.