CCTV of an alleged dog theft in the US is being used as part of an online scam in Australia.
Near identical versions have been posted in local Facebook groups in both Australia and the UK, with a plea to share the contents far and wide.
There are also multiple versions circulating on Twitter.
The wording, which includes a plea to find a “pup” stolen by a “thief”, is nearly identical across the posts. In each post, the name of the location is tweaked to match the Facebook group.
The posts feature three images: One of the dog lying on the grass and another two of a hooded man with a gun in one hand and the dog in the other.
It appears the images are genuine with AAP FactCheck tracing them back to an alleged incident in New Jersey, as reported by a local news site.
The scams feature many of the same characteristics. Comments have been disabled to stop savvy users from notifying others of the scam. They are often posted by new Facebook accounts with blank profile pictures and they use emotive language and storylines to prompt engagement.
Once the posts have gained a certain amount of engagement, the content is changed.
In this case, they are being changed to feature an advertisement about home rentals with suspicious links.
Posts being spread showing a CCTV image of a man supposedly stealing a dog are part of an online scam.
Dozens of versions of the post have been found in various different local Facebook groups across Australia, the UK and further afield.
False – The claim is inaccurate.