Horse owners have been targeted by two scams within the space of a week.

The first, which originally surfaced in January, has re-appeared on Facebook, Twitter and internet forums as diverse as those of H&H and pop band Take That.

It claims that 52 young thoroughbreds will be slaughtered if they are not swiftly “re-homed by Saturday”.

It asks recipients to ring a number, which seems to have been disconnected.

Retraining of Racehorses’ Di Arbuthnot said: “We were bombarded with emails, so quickly looked into this. The British Horseracing Authority confirmed it was a scam.”

The second scam, which comes in letter and email form, taps into Olympic fever by telling recipients they have been shortlisted to be a ring steward at the Olympics.

It purports to be sent by “Rob Hoestra Olympic selection committee chairman [sic]”, asking you to ring a premium rate 0906 phone number for more details.

Chief executive of British Showjumping (BS) Iain Graham said: “We will notify LOCOG that these letters are in circulation again [they first appeared in September 2010].

“Neither BS nor Rob Hoekstra [performance manager of the British showjumping team] has any involvement with these letters.”

Jamey Johnson, head of government organisation Action Fraud, said: “Fraudsters are constantly adapting the way they operate and always look for a way of appealing to their target audience.”

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (18 August, 2011)