Fraudster used fake Scottish SPCA van in bid to steal pet

Animal welfare charity issues warning over bogus inspectors.

Fraudster used fake Scottish SPCA van in bid to steal pet Scottish SPCA

The Scottish SPCA is warning over bogus inspectors using fake work vans to try to steal pets.

The animal welfare charity last week warned that people posing as inspectors were using white vans with black writing on the side.

Since then, a member of the public reported that people impersonating inspectors have switched to using black vans with white writing – similar to the official vans the charity uses.

One member of the public reported that they were approached by a fake inspector in Lanarkshire, who drove a black van.

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “Thankfully the member of the public became suspicious and didn’t hand over their pet.

“We are now asking the public to be aware of anyone coming to the door as the Scottish SPCA.

“We believe these bogus inspectors to also be using black vans with white writing which are almost identical to our own vans.

“If someone tells you they are from the RSPCA then please report them immediately as they do not operate at all in Scotland.

“Please be vigilant and keep yourselves and your pets safe.

“While we can legally seize an animal from a property, we will only do so if the welfare of the animal is seriously compromised, needs vet treatment or the environment is not safe for the animal to be in. Only Police Scotland and the local authority have the same powers.

“Our inspectors will always be in uniform and will be able to provide identification badges with a photo and authorisation. Our inspectors will also be happy to provide you with vehicle registration.

“If you are at all unsure about someone who comes to your door as the Scottish SPCA then ask them to wait outside and call us immediately. Our inspectors will respect your need to do this.

“If anyone can provide any more information on these incidents then please contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”