Berkeley County South Carolina Sheriff's Office
January 21, 2020 - By :

Pigeon Drop

This con game is usually conducted by two well-dressed women of different races. Since women are not normally considered a physical threat, potential victims are not frightened by their approach. The mix of two races reinforces in the victim’s mind that the two con artists are strangers and not working together. The victim is alone and is usually an older, well-dressed woman who is approached in a park or a mall during regular business hours.

One of the con artists approaches the intended victim and starts a conversation, perhaps looking for directions. Soon the second con artist approaches and asks if anyone has lost a package she claims to have found in the area. The three then look into the package and find a sum of money and a note, which gives the impression that the money has been obtained illegally.

The three decide they should share the money. One of the con artists claims to know a lawyer who can advise them. This person leaves then returns saying they can keep the money — but there is a catch. It seems state law requires that all found money be held a certain period of time. But the lawyer agrees to waive the waiting period if each can show they have money to live on during the waiting period.

The victim is convinced to withdraw the amount of money agreed to, place it in the bag with the “found money” and go see the lawyer. The cons switch the bags and leave the victim with a bag of shredded paper on her way to the lawyer while they are parking the car.

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