Tip of the Week: What is a Pigeon Drop Scam?

The “Pigeon Drop” is also known as “The Jamaican Switch” and is a street scam with many variations. The con artist engages in a friendly conversation with a person at a bus stop, in a store, or in a parking lot. The con artist’s goal is to use the friendly conversation to gain the victim’s trust. During the conversation, the con artist claims that they just found a wallet or purse that contains some money. The money is shown to be real and the con artist asks the victim what they think they should do with it. No matter what the victim thinks, the con artist will want to get everyone to keep the money.

As with all scams, there is always a catch. After everyone agrees to a plan, the con artist suggests that each should deposit an amount of money equal to their share of the found money and let one of them hold it for 30 days. As you can guess, the con artist disappears with the victim’s money.

If a stranger approaches you in the street and tells you he/she found a lot of money and wants to share it with you – but first you have to hand over some of your money – it’s definitely a scam!

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