Pet owner's warning after scammers claim to have found missing cat

Becci Kaznowski from Watton, Norwich with her cat Sammy.

Becci Kaznowski was told that her cat had been dropped off at Taverham Vets by someone claiming to be from the RSPCA. - Credit: Tadzik Kaznowski

The owner of a missing cat had money taken out of her bank account after falling victim to scammers who claimed they were from the RSPCA. 

Becci Kazownski's cat Sammy had been missing from their Carbrooke home for more than two weeks when Mrs  Kazownski and her husband, Tadzik, received a call saying their pet had been found. 

The caller claimed to be from the RSPCA and said Sammy had been taken to Taverham Vets. 

"They rang on a private number and had so many details that I thought they must have him, but I realised I put the details about my missing cat all over the internet," said Mrs Kazownski. "Apparently Sammy had gotten into a house near ours and they had been called to pick him up and take him to Taverham vets.

Becci Kaznowski from Watton, Norfolk

Becci Kaznowski's cat Sammy has now been found, but not by the RSPCA. - Credit: Dave Blake Photography

"We live near Watton so them saying Sammy had been taken to Taverham was slightly strange to us as it's a bit of a drive from us."

The 32-year-old, who warned others about the scam on Facebook, was told she needed to pay a £5 rescue fee.

"My husband questioned them about it, thinking that was something we should be paying to the vets directly.

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"But they said no, that it goes directly to them for finding the cat."

As Mr Kaznowski was reading out the card details, he told his wife to call Taverham Vets herself to check Sammy was there.

The vets told her that this is not how they would operate if the RSPCA brought a lost cat to them.

"We told the scammers what the vets had said, but they said that they’d gotten it wrong and that our cat was actually at the Aylsham Vets.

Becci Kaznowski's cat Sammy was found Watton, Norfolk

Sammy was found in trapped in a neighbour's garage, and is safe and well. - Credit: Becci Kaznowski

"The scammers then said that our card hadn’t worked, clearly trying to get more card details from us."

Mrs Kaznowski cancelled her card and the scammers were only able to get £30 from the account.

Haykey Hyam, a nurse at Taverhamn Vets, confirmed the practice would never charge to release an animal. 

"Strays that come that are microchipped hold the owner's details so we will contact them directly," she said. "If the RSPCA find a microchipped pet, it is feasible they could contact you directly but as far as we're aware they will not require a fee."

Mrs Kaznowski was finally reunited with Sammy on Thursday, September 9, after he was found trapped in a neighbour's garage.