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Con Artists Rob Elderly Woman with Complicated "Pigeon Drop" Scam

OUR AGENCY HAS CONFIRMED with the Lubbock police department that an elderly woman was cheated out of more than $7000 in cash and two valuable rings in a scam called a "pigeon drop." The particular story made up by a con artist may vary. What stays the same is this: a large sum of money is supposedly found. The scammer suggests that the victim could have a share of the money. For some reason or other to post a bond or as security or whatever the victim must produce a sum of his or her own money, usually to be held by a third person. The scammer and the third person usually pretend not to know each other but are actually working together. Once the victim has produced the cash, the large sum of "unclaimed" money disappears (or turns out to be a bag of worthless stuffing). The two cons disappear, too along with the victim's money.

The Lubbock incident particularly concerns me because the con artists claimed to have consulted me, the Attorney General, and gave the victim "my" assurance that it was okay to keep the found money. My office would never advise you to give anyone money for any purpose. Do not believe what anyone tells you we have said, especially if that person is urging you to withdraw cash. NEVER GIVE ANYONE CASH IN ORDER TO RECEIVE MONEY OR A PRIZE. Do not underestimate these crooks: they can be very inventive and persuasive. They can also be intimidating. Their game is to confuse, bully or just plain trick you. They may even play on your sympathy, saying they need your help to get the money for themselves. Don't fall for any of it!

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Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas

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