Rogue websites advertising fake numbers for the RSPCA cruelty line are scamming the public and potentially leaving animals without the care they need.\r\n\r\nThe premium rate numbers cause a heavy bill for the caller and are then diverted to the RSPCA National Control Centre.\r\n\r\nThe charity is urging people to make sure they have the correct number for\u00a0reporting animal cruelty,\u00a0and to avoid these \u20180844\u2019 phone call scams.\r\n\r\nA search found\u00a0eight different sites with incorrect numbers\u00a0in the first 10 pages of Google.\r\n\r\nDave Allen, head of education and advice, said: "The amount of sites out there advertising incorrect contact numbers for our charity is very worrying. We're urging people to watch out for websites with fake numbers and information that doesn\u2019t sound quite right.\u00a0Some of the sites can be quite convincing with unauthorised feeds from our official Twitter and Facebook page\u00a0which makes them look all the more real.\r\n\r\n"Unfortunately it can be difficult to get these sites shut down, but we\u2019ve been trying to solve this issue by reporting the problem to Google so that the sites aren't ranked highly in searches.\u00a0We've also lodged a complaint to the UK\u2019s communications regulator OFCOM\u00a0and now we're trying to raise awareness of this scam with the general public.\r\n\r\n"Not only can these numbers leave people with a hefty phone bill, but it also means members of the public may be put off contacting us when an animal is in desperate need of care."\r\n\r\n"Unfortunately,\u00a0we\u2019ve received complaints when a person believes they have contacted our national control centre directly\u00a0but they\u2019ve actually contacted us via an 0844 number and been left with a huge bill instead.\r\n\r\n"Calls direct to us cost the same as a call to any UK landline number. However,\u00a0these fake and premium rate numbers can charge as much as 7p a minute\u00a0plus your phone provider's access charge.\r\n\r\n"We rely on the public to contact us when an animal is in need\u00a0and the last thing we want is for someone to be put off by an awful scam like this. Please ensure you have the correct number when searching by clicking on\u00a0our official website."\r\n\r\nIf you need to report cruelty, or a sick or injured animal, contact the 24-hour cruelty line on\u00a00300 1234 999.