[StBernard] Sheriff Warns Against Holiday Con Artists

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Mon Dec 5 08:22:14 EST 2011

Sheriff Warns Against Holiday Con Artists

St. Bernard Sheriff: Chalmette Man Swindled Out Of $25K

POSTED: 3:25 pm CST December 4, 2011

UPDATED: 3:41 pm CST December 4, 2011

ST. BERNARD PARISH, La. -- The St. Bernard Sheriff's Office is warning
residents Sunday morning about a couple of con artists who preyed on the
holiday spirit of a 77-year-old Chalmette man.

"We believe these individuals target senior (citizens) and try to confuse
them pretty quick," St. Bernard Parish Sheriff-elect Jimmy Pohlman said.

Pohlman said the victim was at the Winn Dixie parking lot on Paris Road when
a stranger came up to him asking for help finding a church so that he could
donate a large sum of money.

After driving around, the victim said he was also asked to put up some of
his own money in "good faith." But before he knew it, the scammers had taken
off with $25,000 of the man's cash.

Deputies said the scam is called a "pigeon drop," and it's one of the oldest
cons in the books.

"We believe the (scammers) work this region. And if you're not successful in
capturing them pretty quick, they move on to other areas," Pohlmann said.

Better Business Bureau officials said scams like these tend to crop up
during the holidays.

The BBB said it is also warning against a telemarketing sweepstakes scam
that appears to be targeting the elderly. Victims are told they have won a
large amount of money, but they must first wire "good faith" money.

According to BBB officials, fraud on auction sites and fraudulent e-mails
promising jobs are also popular scams during the holidays.

"I don't give anybody money. I don't travel with cash, but if I did, I won't
give it to them," resident Shana Baker said.

If you have any information on the con artists in St. Bernard, call
authorities at 504-271-2501.

Read more: http://www.wdsu.com/news/29919478/detail.html#ixzz1ffMcmKiC

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