Charlotte woman says scammer tried to extort her in exchange for lost dog

Charlotte woman says scammer tried to extort her in exchange for lost dog

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - For several days, Charlotte resident Justine Wiggins and her husband have been searching for their missing dog in the Country Club Heights neighborhood.

Wiggins said she has had Kratos, a red husky, since the dog was a puppy. The canine has grown to be an important part of her family.

“He honestly was the personality of the family,” Wiggins told WBTV in an interview Wednesday.

She said she and her husband were out of town earlier this month when Kratos got out of their backyard. The dog hasn’t been seen since the day he left the property.

“We just couldn’t do anything. We felt helpless until we could get home and look ourselves,” said Wiggins.

The dog’s owners have posted ‘lost dog’ fliers around their neighborhood, shared photos of the husky on Facebook, and even created an Instagram account devoted to finding the missing the dog.

“People have been contacting us from even outside of Charlotte saying they’re praying for us, thinking of us or even sending us pictures of dogs they’ve found,” said Wiggins.

She got a lead on Monday. She said someone texted her claiming to have Kratos, but was only willing to return the dog for $50.

“He sent me a Cash App request for $50 and I texted him, ‘I got your request. I’m happy to pay that when I’m at the address with my dog’,” explained Wiggins.

She said the person never sent her an address, and couldn’t provide a picture of the dog, but continued to demand money in exchange for information about the dog. Thinking it was all a scam, she never paid the person.

“It was the closest I felt to having Kratos back and then I realized he just played on that emotion,” said Wiggins.

The dog owner filed a police report with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department about the extortion attempt and still doesn’t have her husky back.

“There are better ways to make a living and how dare you take advantage of people’s desperation to find their dogs,” said Wiggins regarding the scammer.

Police say no one has been arrested in connection to the case.

Wiggins said she and her husband are willing to offer a reward in exchange for the missing husky. Anyone with information about the dog should call 704-254-5595 or 704-305-6819.

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