Watch above: Losing a pet is devastating enough, but what do you do when someone claims to have found your pet and demands money? An Edmonton woman learned a tough lesson after she was contacted by who she thought was the person who found her missing dog. Eric Szeto reports.
EDMONTON – An Edmonton woman whose family dog Piper has been missing for more than a week is warning other pet owners after falling victim to an alleged scheme.
Tanya Ng’s 12-week-old miniature pinscher got out of her yard last Friday.
After searching for Piper for hours, Ng made missing dog posters and put them up around her neighbourhood. The posters offered a reward for Piper’s safe return, but Ng says she didn’t specify a dollar amount.
Then on Wednesday, Ng received what she thought was a promising phone call.
“Someone called me from a private number and said they had my dog,” she explained. “And they said, ‘How much is the reward?’ I said, ‘$200.’”
“I started shaking immediately and I was really excited.”
Ng says the man on the phone refused to meet in person and asked that the money be transferred by email. While hesitant to transfer the money, Ng said she just wanted Piper back so agreed to transfer half of the money and hand over the rest of the cash when her dog was safely returned.
“I sent the first 100 and then he wanted the second 100 after that,” Ng said from her west Edmonton home Sunday.
Ng says her family and friends warned her the man may be trying to scam her, but says things took a turn for the worse when she tried to get confirmation the man actually had Piper.
“I asked him to make her make a noise and describe her back legs, because she has dew claws, and that’s when he swore at me and said he’s going to hurt her,” said Ng.
“He threatened to hurt her. He said, ‘I’m not playing games, lady. Do you want me to f***ing hurt your dog?’ And then I burst into tears and basically broke down and sent the money.”
Ng hasn’t heard from the man since, and her beloved Piper is still missing.
“Our family is incomplete,” she said. “She means a lot… She’s a really fun dog, she’s really loving. She’s actually my son’s dog.”
Ng has accepted that her money is gone, but says it’s about much more than money.
“I want these people caught, because I think they’re doing it to more [people], not just me,” she said. “It’s an awful feeling… I just don’t understand why you would do that.”
Ng says she has filed a report with the Edmonton Police Service and says officers are investigating.
With files from Eric Szeto, Global News.