Cons pose as Katrina victims - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Cons pose as Katrina victims

Police say these professional con artists are taking advantage of people's sympathy and their greed.

It's one of the oldest card games in the book Three Card Monte, but police say it's now being used by a pair of Hurricane Katrina hustlers. Twice between September 26th and October 1st, police say two men hit up unsuspecting shoppers in store parking lots along Poplar Ave. near downtown and in Whitehaven.

"The pretense is, 'I need help.I've been victimized by this hurricane,'" said Lt. D.L. Sheffield of the MPD.

The actual victims then gave the scammers a ride and ended up being taken for a ride themselves. This is where the card game comes in.

"You want to play this little innocent game you see here. Okay pick it oh, you lose, you have to put your money and I'll hold your money or you see how easy that was and when you go to get it back after he's showing you how easy it is to lose it, it's gone," said Sheffield.

And they're gone, leaving the victims without their money, but with a valuable lesson.

"Somebody approaches you on the street, like your parents always told you don't talk to strangers," said Sheffield.

Just two cases reported, but police believe there may be many more unreported. If this has happened to you, police say don't be embarrassed, call them so they can get these guys off the streets.

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