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Florissant Police: Be Aware Of ‘Pigeon Drop’ Scam and Con Artists

With the Holiday Season approaching, the Florissant Police Department wants to warn people of scam artists attempting to take advantage of people’s generosity.

Every year, police departments from across the St. Louis area hear of incidents where con artists approach unsuspecting people with offers of a quick and easy payoff. Unfortunately, the only quick payoff is to the con artists as they steal the victim’s money.

Police Officer Andy Haarman said that although the department had not had any of these scams reported recently, “every year around this time we get reports.”

Haarman explained that the con artist will usually tell the victim that they found a large amount or money and will offer to split it. They ask the victim to put up some money as an act of good faith.

They then appear to put the victim’s money and their money in bags and trade bags. However, the con artist uses sleight of hand to replace the money with paper or some other worthless item.

This is not unique to Florissant or North County, Haarman said. “This scam happens all around the St. Louis area,” he said. Haarman also said there are other types of scams that prey on the victims’ generosity and holiday spirit this time of year. There are many legitimate ways to help others; it is better to donate to an established charity than to someone who approaches you in a parking lot.

These con artists tend to target elderly victims who are easily confused. Most of these crimes occur during the mid-morning and afternoon hours. Most of the initial stories that the con artists tell the victims are pre-rehearsed, and they persuade the victims into participating.

The men and women of the Florissant Police Department wants to remind everyone that, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Make educated decisions, and do not provide money to someone that you just met with the promise of a big payoff in return.

The Florissant Police Department also wants to remind everyone that if you are approached by one of these types of scam artists, please notify your local police department of the incident as soon as it happens.

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