A scammer demanded $600 in Bitcoin for the safe return of a North Carolina woman’s dog, hours after the dog had already been found.
Bitcoins and Basset Hounds
Last weekend, Patricia Howell lost her basset hound, Happy. She quickly took to local online forums and in-town pet communities, posting pictures of the dog and her telephone number while asking people to call her right away if they had seen him.
Within a few days, she received a text message from a burner phone demanding $600 in Bitcoin or else Happy would be sold off or even killed. The scammer claimed to be using a burner phone, supposedly so that the call couldn’t be traced, and advised Howell not to go to the police.
The only issue was Howell had been reunited with Happy earlier that day thanks to the help of someone who had seen the online post. Apparently, the scammer had found her personal phone number from the lost dog advertisements.
Howell immediately recognized it as a scam as she could literally see her dog. She reported the call to the police, who said that they had heard of similar cases from around the country.
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