Here's what happened to me [while working at a gas station]. One slow Sunday afternoon, a man comes out of the restroom with a pearl necklace in his hand. "Found it on the bathroom floor" he says. He followed with "Geez, looks nice-I wonder who lost it?" Just then, the gas station's phone rings and a man asked if anyone found a pearl necklace that he had purchased as a gift for his wife. He offers a $200 reward for the necklace's return. I tell him that a customer found it. "OK" he says, "I'll be there in 30 minutes." I give him the ARCO address and he gives me his phone number. The man who found the necklace hears all this but tells me he is running late for a job interview and cannot wait for the other man to arrive.
Huum, what to do? The man with the necklace said "Why don't I give you the necklace and we split the reward?" The greed-o-meter goes off in my head, suppressing all rational thought. "Yeah, you give me the necklace to hold and I'll give you $100" I suggest. He agrees. Since high school kids working at gas stations don't have $100, I take money out of the cash drawer to complete the transaction.
You can guess the rest. The man with the lost necklace doesn't come and never answers my many calls. After about an hour, I call the police. The "pearl" necklace was a two dollar fake and the number I was calling went to a pay phone nearby. I had to fess up to my boss and pay back the money with my next paycheck.
15 November 2008
The "Pigeon Drop" con
Typically performed when a money-filled wallet is "found" on the street. Here's another variation: