Local man bilked for $5,000


“Pigeon drop” victim taken by desire to help the poor

By LPR Staff

The Lockhart Police Department announced on Tuesday that scammers are, once again, on the loose in Caldwell County.

According to reports, the police received information on Monday, June 7, that an area resident had been approached in a San Marcos Parking lot

by a gentleman who asked him for a ride to an area hotel to pick up another man.

The reportedly well-dressed pair then asked the man for a ride to Lockhart, all the while discussing more than $80,000 they had in the bank. Throughout the conversation, the two said they hoped to share the money with the poor, and eventually convinced their would-be victim that they would give him more than half that money, to distribute to charity as he saw fit.

The catch was that he needed to withdraw money from his own account to help pay transfer fees, and they needed to make a show of “trust.”

After dropping the pair off at HEB, the victim, an elderly gentleman from the Lockhart area, went to his bank, where he withdrew $5,000 from his account.

The suspects refused to accompany him to the bank, stating it was “unholy ground,” but most likely trying to avoid the video cameras.

The three then went to McDonalds, where the suspects engineered an “act of trust,” suggesting that they would walk around the building with the victim”s money, and return to show good faith.

The two have not been seen since.

The suspects are both described as black men. “Suspect One” is said to be 5″7″, around 140 pounds. He is said to be clean cut and to speak with an African accent. He was last seen wearing a dark colored suit and tie.

His accomplice is also described as a black man, 6″0″, with a long face and a goatee. He was last seen wearing a light gray dress jacket.

Schemes of this sort, known as “pigeon drops,” are often enacted upon the elderly,
representatives from the Lockhart Police Department said. While they often center around easy money, such as a suspect saying he or she will split a large lottery winning with the victim for help in paying transfer or banking fees, nationwide reports show more and more scammers are using people”s desire to help those in need against them, as was the case in this incident.

Most importantly, police said to be on the lookout for anything that looks “too good to be true,” and anyone that is eager to share “free money,” particularly if they ask for funds upfront. Often, scammers are eloquent and charming, and are able to lull their victims into a sense of security.

Should a would-be victim find himself or herself in a position to be concerned they might be taken, they are encouraged to call the police, or talk to a banking official before making a withdrawal or depositing a check from an unknown source. Although often, potential victims feel shame about asking for information, bank officials and police officers are trained to recognize such schemes and help their customers protect themselves.

Anyone with information on these two suspects, or other potential scams, is encouraged to call the Lockhart Police Department at (512) 398-4401.


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