The Scottish SPCA has warned pet owners to be wary of bogus inspectors trying to remove animals from properties.
There have been reports in Renfrewshire and Perthshire of people visiting properties, claiming to be from the animal welfare charity.
A number of animals have been taken by the thieves, who have been seen using a white van with Scottish SPCA stickers on it.
Chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “We are very concerned for the welfare of the animals who have been taken by people posing as the Scottish SPCA.
“Our thoughts are with the owners as this must be incredibly distressing for them.
“First and foremost we would urge anyone who has experienced this to get directly in touch with us. We will then notify Police Scotland who can investigate this fraudulent behaviour.
“We believe the person/s to be in a white van with a Scottish SPCA sticker on it. Our vans are predominantly black with Scottish SPCA branding.
“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 this then please contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”
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