Owners of lost Longridge dog Nelly, received a chilling ransom text which read: ‘I have your dog. It’s fine just scared. Send £450 in bitcoin to this bitcoin wallet or I will kill or I will sell it or whatever. When you pay send your address and I’ll drop it off. I won’t contact you again or reply. This is a throwaway phone. Police can’t help. You have until end of Thursday.’Advertisement
The text was received on April 4 as police were called to the address in Longridge, where Nelly was last seen in March days earlier.
Read more: Search continues for Nelly the missing French Bulldog from Longridge
Owner of the lost lilac and tan French Bulldog Nelly, Ellie Simmons from Longridge said: “It was devastating that someone that vile could actually have her! We felt panic and wanted to get her back that much that we considered paying them. But then we had to be realistic and consider the fact it could be a scam which it did turn out to be.
“It was so hard to not react and cope with the fact that there are people out there that will go to the ends of the earth for some cash! We know people out there in the panic of the moment just do anything to get their little fur baby’s back but please think and don’t fall for the lies.”
Lancashire Police are warning dog owners who have posted their contact details online when their pets have gone missing to be wary of contact from scammers or unknown numbers. Fraudulent texts such as these have been described as ‘blackmail’ and Lancashire Constabulary say they take them very seriously.
Juliet Clark, of Lancashire Constabulary’s Cyber Crime Unit, said: “These despicable individuals play on the emotions of their victims when they are at their most vulnerable.
“As upsetting and tempting as it is to pay the ransom, this is a scam. If people are contacted after losing a pet with similar messages, contact on 101.”
Nelly the French bull-dog is still missing, you can contact her owner through Facebook.
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