Elderly woman scammed by duo out of $14,000 outside store

- West Bloomfield police is looking for a couple of crooks who targeted an elderly woman outside a grocery store.

The woman lost $14,000 in an age-old scheme outside a Kroger store in what is called a pigeon drop, an elaborate scam with a lot of moving pieces.

"They spent a great amount of time with this lady, she was an elderly lady, getting her confidence and talking her into this scam," said Deputy Chief Curt Lawson of the West Bloomfield Police Department. "Which led to her losing $14,000."

The idea is to gain the confidence of a victim so they give up some of their money with the promise of getting more in return.  And the scam worked just as planned in a Kroger parking lot.

An 80-year-old-woman was putting away groceries when she approached by a woman, a scam artist claiming to have found a large sum of money.

Then a second woman, working with the first, approaches the same 80-year-old and shows her the money, telling her some of it could be hers if she's willing to pay a processing fee. The scam is usually done over the phone.

"This is our suspect, she walks in, turns around, comes back out," Lawson said, going over security video. "A black Nissan Ultima, it pulls out, as their accomplice pulls in. She asks her if she lost a wallet or lost money."

The victim says no, then suspect one motions for suspect two to come over. The second scam artist has a bag of $100 bills with her and is looking for the owner of the money. Then comes the offer to split it up three ways,

The first woman pretending to be all in and offers up $15,000 getting 25 grand in return. After seeing this, the 80-year-old woman goes to the bank and takes out $14,000 expecting to see the same return. However when she comes back from the bank, she gives up her money. Both suspects take off and are never seen again.

Police say it’s likely the criminals are not from around here, moving from place to place to commit this crime, but in case you recognize the people caught on video give West Bloomfield police a call at (248) 975-9200.

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