KAPLAN, La. (KLFY) – The director of Acadian Search and Rescue is on a mission to stop scammers trying to use his company’s name from Louisiana all the way to New York.
“I was contacted by an individual in New York City that evidently googled the name and our contact information. She contacted me and said look I think somebody is trying to use your organization’s name to scam people. I got the number from her, and I called it, and they tried pulling the same scam on me,” says Director of Acadian Search and Rescue, Jeffery Istre.
Over the next few days, Istre says more calls came in from New York, Arkansas, California, and Louisiana saying a scammer is reaching out to them claiming to be Acadian Search and Rescue. The scammers are telling their potential victims they will assist in finding their lost pets for a $200 payment. Istre says Acadian Search and Rescue assists in locating missing persons, not pets.
The company is also a non-profit that speaks to clients over the phone or in person and not through text. “Any time you are dealing with us you will be dealing with me directly. Most of the time we meet in person and discuss the missing persons case with the family in person,” says Istre.
Up to this point no one has lost money from the scam, making it difficult to get law enforcement involved. Istre says he’s found other ways to combat the scam.
“Law enforcement is not a lot of help because they don’t know where these people are at so they don’t know what jurisdiction this is in. They’re using an internet phone number so they could be any where in the country or they could be out of the country. I contacted the Better Business Bureau, they’re nation wide. As far as anything else goes we’re looking into it ourselves,” says Istre.
Istre is offering a $1000 reward to anyone with information regarding the identity of the scammer. The real contact information for Acadian Search and Rescue is 337-581-1955 or email@example.com.