RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A warning from police, if someone approaches you claiming they found a large amount of money and wants to split it - don't fall for it. It's called the Pigeon Drop Scam, or the Found Money Switch. The target is normally an elderly woman.
It usually starts with an elderly woman getting out of her car in a shopping center; crooks pinpoint their target and move in. For an 88-year-old woman, her frightening ordeal began with strangers saying they found a pile of money. They told her she could share the in the cash - all she had to do was make a stop by the bank. She didn't want to play along, so they threatened her. Before she knew it, she was swindled and intimidated. She withdrew $30,000 from her bank account and never got a dime.
Police say it's happening to older people all over. Recently, a great- grandmother lost $24,000 in the same kind of situation but she fell for it, and thought she would get rich.
"Had I been thinking why would I have to withdraw money from the bank for you to divide the money with me?" she said.
The crooks are counting on you not thinking. They usually ask you to put some money up front in order to share in the phony jackpot. You will never get your money. The way to protect yourself is use some common sense and never trust strangers. There are variations of this Pigeon Drop scam, to learn more just click here.
Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.
635 W. 7th Street