Matt and Danielle Perry are sharing their story in hopes to save other Edmontonians from the same fate, after an online scammer targeted the desperate couple as they searched for their missing dog.
The couple’s one-and-a-half year old German Shepherd named Bear went missing in Edmonton on Nov. 4.
After no luck with initial searches, the pair turned to social media.
A man called after seeing their online post, he didn’t provide a name or a contact number but claimed that he had their missing dog.
But red flags started popping up as the Perry couple tried to make arrangements to get back Bear.
“He said, ‘Well I don’t want to meet you in person,’ I asked him why, he said, ‘I don’t want you to say I stole your dog.’
“I said, that’s not going to be the case, we’re just happy to get him back,” said Matt Perry.
The pair was suspicious but continued the conversation in hopes their dog would come home.
The couple agreed to pay the cash, $100 up-front via e-transfer and the rest upon receiving the dog.
But after paying the first part, the man disappeared, deleting his email address. Police believe the family was scammed, and that others have also been targeted in similar situations.
“We’ve been investigating a few fraudulent circumstances recently and it has come to our attention about specifically lost animals,” Const. Jolene Thomas-Carter with the RCMP said.
While this case and others are being investigated by RCMP, Thomas-Carter said there are preventative measures to avoid scams.
“Scammers will prey on people’s emotions, especially within the circumstances of lost pets and as animal lovers and owners we will do anything to become reunited with our animals.
“So just to try keep a level head before you offer any sort of monetary reward,” said Thomas-Carter.
Police also recommend face-to-face exchanges, in a public venue or police parking lot.
The Perry couple say they are still hopeful they will find Bear.