Introducing the 'I’ve got your dog and if you want it back' scam

Photo (c) The Palmer - Getty Images

PIN codes starting to show up again. Do you have two-factor authentication turned on?

Scammers may not know it, but the have picked a fight with the people who love “man’s best friend.” After last year’s “woof and poof” crime spree, doggy scammers are back.

According to TheDailyScam, the Reddit community has recently been barking loudly when one poster told their personal lost dog scam tale.

Reddit user Darwally’s narrative started when their family dog Abbott escaped its cage while on a cross-country trip. Devastated, the family took to plastering the town where their dog was lost with posters and putting something up on

It worked! The next day Darwally got a message from someone claiming to have found her dog. But she was smart enough to recognize that she was being scammed.

“It was heartbreaking to realize I was being scammed and our dog is still lost,” she said. 

'I need you to verify a code'

Seems the scammer thought they’d try out the ‘ol “PIN scam” where they asked her to prove that she was the correct person claiming to have lost the dog he found. The crook said that he was sending her a “verification code” via text and all she needed to do was share that number back to him.

If the scammer had been successful, they could’ve put malware on her phone that could’ve enabled them to access her bank account, credit card account, or any number of things. 

“They could lock you out by turning off this authentication feature, or they could change the password, or they could set up email forwarding within your account without your knowledge,” the DailyScam warned.

“They can ransack your account, looking for information to monetize, including bank and credit card accounts. Never, ever give a verification code to anyone for any reason!  These codes are for your protection!

PIN scams are spreading from iPhones to Androids

As ConsumerAffairs reported earlier this week, iPhone users have been put on high alert that PIN scams are showing up on those devices everywhere. Unfortunately, as it turns out, Google Android phone owners aren’t safe, either.

9to5Google notes that the same trick thieves play on an iPhone can be used to break into an Android and make off with all the treasure trove of personal IDs, passwords, etc. that are part of someone’s Google account.

The best safety tip ConsumerAffairs found to prevent someone hacking into an Android phone is two-factor authentication. Similar to what Apple offers,  Google also offers “advanced protection” – its version of two-factor authentication – that gives Android users some comfort.

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