Bogus Facebook Message Claims Fake RSPCA Workers Trying to Steal Dogs in Coxhoe
OutlineFacebook message warns that two women posing as RSPCA workers have been attempting to steal dogs in the Coxhoe area of the UK. The message claims that the RSPCA has confirmed that such activities are occurring.
© Depositphotos.com/ lifeonwhite
AnalysisThe RSPCA has NOT confirmed the information in the warning as claimed. RSPCA workers have been in the Coxhoe area recently, but the RSPCA have not received any reports of fraudulent collectors operating there. Nor have they had any reports about attempted dog thefts like those described in the message.
A spokesperson for the RSPCA in England & Wales has sent me the following statement on the issue:
The message is very similar to another circulating Facebook post that claims that a man depicted in an attached photograph is posing as an RSPCA officer and has attempted to steal dogs in the South Yorkshire area. However, the claims in the South Yorkshire version are false. The RSPCA has officially confirmed that the man in the picture is a legitimate RSPCA fundraiser and that the allegations that he tried to steal dogs are completely unfounded.
RSPCA door-to-door fundraisers were operating in the Coxhoe area during the weeks commencing 18/3/13 and 25/3/13 so it is possible that these individuals were genuine RSPCA fundraisers. We have not received any reports that fraudulent collectors were in the area at this time, nor have we heard of any attempted dog thefts of this nature.
Anyone who is unsure if a RSPCA door-to-door fundraiser is legitimate should use the following details to check: http://www.rspca.org.uk/donate/howweraisemoney/doortodoor/faqs
Thus, there is no evidence to support claims that women posing as RSPCA workers have been attempting to steal dogs in Coxhoe. The message may well be just a variant of the South Yorkshire hoax. Spreading unsubstantiated dog stealing rumours - and falsely claiming that the RSPCA has confirmed these rumours - will do nothing to help people keep their pets safe.
© Depositphotos.com/ andresr
Last updated: March 29, 2013
First published: March 29, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen