SSPCA issue second warning as bogus inspectors attempting to steal pets change disguise

The Scottish SPCA has issued a second warning to pet owners after bogus inspectors appear to have changed their disguise.

Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn picture: Peter Devlin
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn picture: Peter Devlin

On February 4, The Scotsman reported on a warning from the animal welfare charity about people posing as inspectors using white vans with black writing on the side.

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

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Another member of the public reported that they were approached by a fake inspector in Lanarkshire, who was seen driving a black van.

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn has warned pet owners about bogus inspectors using van’s that look “almost identical” to those used by SSPCA employees.

He 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.”

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