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POPULAR CON GAMES AND HOW TO RECOGNIZE THEM

 

The object of any con game is to cause you to part with your

money or other thing of value. Most con games are initiated

by people who approach you on the street or call on you at

your home. Be suspicious of ANY plan, idea, scheme, business

deal or whatever that requires you to part with your money on

short notice.

 

THE PIGEON DROP

 

Cons like the "pigeon drop" are very common. In this scam

the victim is approached by persons claiming to have found a

large sum of money. The suspects tell the victim they would

like to share the money with the victim,  but ask the  victim

to put up some of his own money as a gesture of good faith.

Packages, bags, or whatever are switched and the victim ends

up with a wad of paper or the like and the suspects are no

where to be found.

 

 

ROCKS IN THE BOX

 

In the "rocks in the box" scam, the victim is approached by a

suspect who offers to sell him a new TV or VCR or similar

item at a very low price. Once the victim parts with his

money he finds himself stuck with a box containing bricks or

other junk used to simulate the weight of the claimed

contents of the box.

 

 

BANK EXAMINER

 

The "bank examiner" con is commonly practiced on older

females. In this scam the victim is contacted, usually by

phone, by a person claiming to be an officer of the bank at

which she has an account. The caller claims that due to

computer malfunction or other problem, the bank needs to

verify certain information. During the conversation, the

caller tries to obtain needed information about the victim's

account balance, recent account activity, etc. The caller

will also try to determine if the victim lives alone, etc.

If the phony bank officer gets the needed information he

will thank the victim, and tell her he will call her back if

there are any problems.

 

After a short time the phony bank officer will call the

victim again and tell her that the problem has been caused by

a bank employee that they suspect of stealing from customer's

accounts, including the victim's. The victim is asked if she

would assist the bank in catching the dishonest employee.

The victim, wanting to help nab the crook, often agrees. She

is then given the "plan" by the phony bank officer. He

tells the victim  that a "dummy" account has been set up in

her name for this event.

 

She is to go to the bank and to the suspected dishonest

employee and withdraw $3000, the amount stolen from her

account. The phony bank officer tells the victim that  the

dishonest employee, knowing that the withdrawal will cause

the victim's account to be overdrawn, will have to steal the

money from yet another account to make up the difference.

The phony bank officer tells the victim that the dishonest

employee's actions will be monitored on closed-circuit TV,

and this is how he/she will be caught. The victim is assured

that her account is fully insured and she will suffer no loss

due to the employee's dishonesty. The victim follows through

with the plan and withdraws the agreed amount.

 

The victim then meets the phony bank official at a

pre-determined location. The phony bank official then takes

the money from the victim, telling her that it actually came

from the "dummy" account and not her account, and that it is

needed as evidence. The victim is given a receipt for the

money and of course neither the money or the bank officer is

ever seen again!

 

 

BAIL BOND SCAM

 

The victim is contacted by phone by a person claiming to be a

friend of a relative of the victim. The victim is told that

the relative has been arrested for an outstanding warrant or

some other minor charge, and needs money to get out of jail.

The "friend" asks the victim for the bail money. If the

victim agrees, the caller will arrange for himself or another

person to pick up the money.

 

 

PHONEY C.O.D. SCAM

 

The suspect will scout a neighborhood to find a suitable

unoccupied home. He will check a city directory publication

to determine the name of the homeowner. He will put the name

on a phony shipping label and attach that to a box

containing rocks or similar type debris. He will then return

dressed in an "express delivery" type of uniform. He will

pretend to knock or ring the doorbell at the unoccupied

house. Getting no answer, he will then go to a next-door or

nearby neighbor and ask them to accept the  package and pay

the C.O.D.  fee.

 

 

HOME IMPROVEMENT SCHEME

 

The suspects drive to the victim's house in a contractor type

vehicle and dressed in workman's clothing. They tell the

victim they have just finished a large roofing  job  (or

driveway  resurfacing, etc.) and have some materials left

over. They tell the victim they will use the left-over

material to repair the victim's roof, driveway, or whatever,

at a large discount. If the victim agrees, the suspects will

do a quick, shoddy, job with cheap  material. These con

artists  usually  travel  from town to town perpetrating this

scam, staying away from their home town where they would

surely be caught in a short time.

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