SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – Summit County Animal Control has issued a warning to the residents of the county about a text message scam that has been circulating recently.

The scammers are using the phone number of Animal Control, 330-643-2845, to send texts to individuals. The process is known as “spoofing”, where scammers imitate a real phone number to deceive individuals into thinking they are being contacted by a person, business, or institution.

The scam texts inform residents that they have “lost their pet” and must send a payment to redeem the animal. However, Animal Control has never accepted payments over the phone or through any payment app, such as Venmo, Cash App, Zelle, etc. Any individual needing to redeem their pet from Animal Control will be asked to pay the redemption fee, in person, at the facility.

Animal Control has urged people not to respond to these texts and not to send payments through any payment apps. If you or someone you know has been targeted by this scam, please report it to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office here or at 800-282-0515.

To contact Animal Control, please call 330-643-2845.