Tulsa Police looking for some con artists using the ' pigeon drop' scam

Friday, August 27th 2004, 10:52 am
By: News On 6

A popular scam makes a come-back. It's called the pigeon drop and plenty of people fall for it, especially older people. A Tulsa woman was taken for $6,000 and here's what shocked police, she was not elderly, but 30 years old.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright explains, with a dramatization, how the scam works and how you can avoid it.

Most of the pigeon drops happen in big parking lots, like Wal-Marts.

Con artist: "Hi, you don't know me and I'm sorry to bother you, but, two men were fighting over there and they dropped this money and I think there's like $57,000 in there."

The first step is the pitch, money found or dropped and no one wants to claim it.

Con artist: "I work at a bank over there." Con artist #2: "Excuse me madam, I saw what happened with the money you found and wondered what you're going to do with it."

The second step, a second suspect verifies how the money was found.

Con artist: "My boss says we can keep it, but we each have to put in about $6,000 to make sure we didn't get it illegally." Con artist #2: "I can do that." Con artist #1: "You've got $6,000 you can put in? Great."

Step number three, coming up with a reason why you need to contribute cash and the second suspect agrees.

Victim: "I don't have that kind of money in my account." Con artist: "Do you have a credit card? You can get cash that way." Victim: "Okay."

And, step number four, they get your money and disappear.

Tulsa Police say a woman is believed to have done exactly that to a young woman at the Wal-Mart at 2nd and Memorial. If you find a bunch of cash, call police. They'll hold it and if no one claims it in 30 days, it's yours and it won't cost you a penny.

The suspects first approached their Tulsa victim by talking about religion. A blonde woman is also working this scam in Owasso, Broken Arrow and Muskogee. Her partner claims to be a bank manager who calls on her cell phone to confirm the story to the victim.

If you have any information about this crime, call Crimestoppers at 596-COPS.