What moron is falling for this scam?

I can almost buy that in the mid-90s even a sane, intelligent, tech savvy person would occasionally fall for a Nigerian email scam… but this?

Police are warning Cerritos residents of a scam that has taken two people so far:

Claiming to have found the purse in the street, the scammer says he is willing to split the money legally with the individual if they fork over cash to hire an attorney.

The victim will then give the scammer more than $1,000 in “good faith money,” believing the scammer is going to match that money and hire an attorney.

The scammer then disappears. [Long Beach Press-Telegram]

Is it really this easy to con someone? And who carries around $1,000 in good faith money?

5 Replies to “What moron is falling for this scam?”

  1. In answer to your second question: somebody tried to pull this scam on my grandmother over 40 years ago. He very gallantly offered to escort her to the bank to pick up the “good faith” money.

  2. It’s the classic pigeon drop con and it’s been around forever and day. (It’s referenced as an old congame in The Big Con from the 40’s)

  3. Why in the hell would you need to hire an attorney to turn in a missing purse, people actually fall for this? wow.

  4. It is indeed a very common scam. The four Brooklyn newsweeklies at which I usta work always had reports of this scam. It was not always olde folk, either; asian people were often taken as they distrusted banks and the government (one and the same to many asians) and kept all their cash nearby.
    But it all comes down to one word: greed. The mark thinks that free money is gonna flow their way real soon, which is what blinds them to the current being in the opposite direction.

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