LAKE DALLAS, Texas — Lake Dallas says its animal shelter’s Facebook page has been hacked and is promoting a scam and fake adoptions.
“It causes confusion, and that’s an issue because we like to engage with the public, especially animal services,” Lt. Connor Farrell of the Lake Dallas Police Department said.
Farrell says hackers took over the shelter’s Facebook page July 1, and they still aren’t sure how it happened.
“Most people were aware that something was off and made sure to bring that to our attention, especially on social media,” he said.
The page is still under the hackers’ control and posting about pets for adoption with a link to a form that asks about a $300 adoption fee and online payment on Zelle or Venmo.
Farrell says while the shelter may put out callouts for food, it would never have a link for online payment.
“It was quite amazing actually how quickly people picked up on it and were posting on our Lake Dallas police page,” he said.
The police department says it’s not aware of any victims who paid out money, but the shelter says dozens of people have either come in or called looking for animals that don’t exist.
“It creates a challenge right, but again, with our community support and how interactive our animal shelter is with the community, we’ve been able to kind of overcome that, so it’s nice,” Farrell said.
Lake Dallas said it’s only heard of one other rescue in the region dealing with the issue and right now they’re working with Facebook to regain control of the page.
They’re hopeful the issue won’t scare off much needed potential adopters.