Caught on Video

The pigeon drop scam is another “pay money to get money” scam, but slightly different from the 419 scams which started before the 90s. The basic tactic remains the same – the scammer lures the victim to part with his/her own cash, in order to receive a larger amount of cash. Just like those 419 and lottery scams.

In this report,

1) A scammer asked the victim if she has dropped a sealed envelope.

2) The victim said that the envelope does not belong to her.

3) Then a man (another scammer) walked past and opened the envelope to reveal the cash inside. So they decided to split it into 3 portions, but they need to find a safe place.

4) The scammer convince the victim to go to a nearby store to count the money. The scammer went in and came out, saying that there is a total of $80k.

5) The scammer told the victim that she needs to show her $15k, in order to get teh share of $25k.

6) Victim went to withdraw the money, and passed the money to the scammer.

7) Scammer asked the victim to wait inside the store, while she ran away with the $15k. 

The scam, called a pigeon drop, compels victims to give money in order to get more money. In this case, police said the scam started in a Kroger parking lot in Vicksburg, where surveillance cameras were rolling.

A woman caught on the surveillance video asked the victim if she dropped a white envelope. The victim, identified only as Lonnie, said no. A man walked by and ended up opening the envelope to reveal cash inside. Police said they believe the man and woman were in cahoots.

“He’s the one who said, ‘We can split it three ways.’ She said, ‘Well, we can’t do it right here,'” Lonnie said.

The woman, who said her name is Suzanne, claimed she worked at Walgreen’s across the street, and she convinced Lonnie to drive there to count the money.

“She said, ‘I will go inside and count the money. It’s too much to count right here.’ She went inside and came back out and said, ‘It’s $80,000,'” Lonnie said.

In order for Lonnie to get a cut of the money, the assailants told her she had to show them $15,000 of her own money. Lonnie said she just lost her job and the extra money sounded good. So, she drove to the bank.

“I withdrew $15,000 dollars cash,” Lonnie said.

Lonnie brought her $15,000 back to Walgreen’s and gave the money to Suzanne, who told Lonnie to walk inside the store and stand in aisle six, where someone would tap her on her shoulder and give her $25,000.

Lonnie went inside, and after several minutes of standing in the store, Lonnie realized she had been scammed.