Police warn of dog scam relating to COVID-19
Police are warning people to be vigilant after a suspected conman tried to get a homeowner to hand over their dog for coronavirus quarantine.
The man went to a house in Marton, Middlesbrough, and told the victim their dog needed to be taken away.
When questioned, the man walked away and drove off in a white van.
Cleveland Police has renewed warnings about fraud. The RSPCA has said there is “no evidence” pets can become ill from coronavirus.
The male suspect is described as being a tanned with an unknown accent and black hair. He was wearing a grey padded coat and dark trousers.
“We are warning members of the public to be vigilant,” a force spokeswoman said.
Dr Samantha Gaines from the RSPCA said: “We’re urging pet owners not to panic and not to abandon their pets.”
Councils have also issued warnings about scammers pretending to be health officials or offering to pick up food and medicines.
The Local Government Association is advising people not to accept help from cold-callers.
Action Fraud, which receives reports of fraudulent activity, says victims of online scams have lost £960,000 in 105 coronavirus-linked cases since the beginning of February.
Often the victims had paid for mail-order sanitisation products that were not sent.