Elderly woman scammed out of $25,000 in Livonia

77-year-old falls victim to scam known as 'pigeon drop'

Author: Will Jones, Local 4 Reporter, @Local4Will, wjones@wdiv.com
Published On: Jun 17 2013 07:01:29 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 17 2013 07:12:20 PM EDT
Pigeon Drop scam
LIVONIA, Mich. -

An elderly woman was on a shopping trip at the Livonia Costco when she was approached by couple who gave her an offer that she thought she couldn’t turn down.

It ended up costing the woman $25,000. Livonia Police Detective Daniel McCulley warns seniors all the time about a scam called the pigeon drop.

"These suspects like to target senior citizens, usually they’re vulnerable. They trust people. So they fall for it easier," McCulley said.

It was last Thursday afternoon when a man and woman approached a 77-year-old woman from Detroit in the parking lot on Middlebelt. They pair asked her if she dropped a bag.

The woman told them no. They showed the woman what she claims was about $50,000 inside the bag. One of the scam artists claimed there was a note in the bag indicating it was lottery mafia money.

The suspects told the woman they could split the money with her and convinced her to go to the bank across the street. The pair told the elderly victim the bank would hold the money for 90 days, and after that the money was all theirs to divvy up.

The catch:

The very expensive catch, the victim would need to put up $25,000 for collateral with the bank.

Sadly the elderly woman withdrew money. Once she gave the cash, the thieves took off leaving her with nothing.

Once the woman realized she was a victim of the pigeon scam she contacted police.

"I think she just trusted these two guys that they were going to follow through with this larger amount of cash for her," said McCulley.

The suspects:  

The female suspect was black and in her 50's. She was around 6 feet tall and 250 pounds. The woman was wearing a paisley print top and dark pants.

The male suspect was also black and in his 30's. He was around 5-foot-2 and 160 pounds and was wearing dark pants and a tan newsboy cap.

Police say if you been a victim of the scam artists or have any information that could help solve this case please call Livonia police.