Conman demands Hastings dog owners pay £500 for safe return of their pets
Police are urging people to be vigilant after receiving two reports of scams relating to dogs in East Sussex.
The first related to a dog that was missing in Guestling, near Hastings on September 7.
Police said the owners of the dog received a call from a man saying he had their dog and demanded £500 for its return.
A police spokesman said: “He asked if the dog was spayed and that if it was, it was no good to him.
“The couple suspected something was wrong and refused to pay the money.”
Police said their dog returned home a few hours later, having gotten lost running in the woods.
A similar phone call was reported by a woman who was helping a dog owner find her lost dog in Hastings.
The man again demanded £500 but no money was handed over.
PC Liz Daddy, of the Rural Crime Team, said: “In both cases, an appeal to find the dogs has been posted to Facebook with a phone number.
“A man with a Liverpudlian accent has then called saying he has the dog and demanding money to give it back.
“The caller has never been able to produce any evidence that he has the dogs and thankfully, both victims have become suspicious and not handed over any money.
“We’re urging people to be vigilant, and report any suspicious calls to police. Do not give money to people you do not trust and if in doubt, seek advice from a family member, friend or police.
“If anyone has received a similar phone call, or has any information which could help our enquiries, please get in touch online or by calling 101.”