"Pigeon Drop" scam costs East Texan $15K - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

"Pigeon Drop" scam costs East Texan $15K

Man wanted for questioning. Source: Longview Police Man wanted for questioning. Source: Longview Police
Truck police say involved in "pigeon drop" scam Truck police say involved in "pigeon drop" scam

By Taylor Hemness - bio | email

LONGVIEW (KLTV) - Nearly two weeks ago, "James," who wants to remain anonymous, was loading something into the back of his truck at Lowe's in Longview, when he was approached by a man in a suit.

"He said, 'Can you read,' and I said, 'Well, yes sir, some.' He said, 'Will you read this to me,' and he had a little card,'" James said.

The card the man handed James had an address and a name on it, but not much else. The man showed James a handful of money, and said he needed to get to Kroger, so he could get more money.

James drove the man to Kroger, and while they were in the parking lot, James' passenger asked James to flag down another man that was walking by for help.

"I shoulda realized then that there was something wrong, but I went ahead and went along with it."

Longview police say that second player is a big part of a pigeon drop scam.

"These are well rehearsed," said Officer Kristie Brian. "Usually one person will go in and make the contact, gain that person's trust. then during their conversation, another person will come in and say, I'm here to assist them with getting their money."

The second man ended up going into Kroger to get money to help the man in the suit. He was caught on Kroger's security camera on the way out. The man in the suit then made James an offer.

"He told me, he said, 'I'll give you 15 thousand dollars if you can go to the bank and get 15 thousand dollars out,'" James said.

James says he was just trying to help this man, so he took 15 thousand dollars in cash out of his account. The man in the suit then offered to take James' money, and walk away from the truck toward the Arby's restaurant nearby, just to prove that he was trustworthy. James agreed.

"I thought well, I went along this far, I might as well go along and see."

James said he watched them walk toward the drive-thru sign, then looked away for a moment. When he turned back, they, and his money, were gone.

Longview police say the two men may be driving a bright blue pick-up truck that was also caught on the Kroger security camera. Police say if anyone approaches you in a parking lot, never give them money, or let them into your vehicle.

If you have any information, call Longview police.

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