Pigeon drop is a confidence trick in which a mark or "pigeon" is persuaded to give up a sum of money in order to secure the rights to a larger sum of money, or more valuable object. In reality, the scammers make off with the money and the mark is left with nothing.
In the process, the stranger (actually a confidence trickster) puts his money with the mark's money (in an envelope, briefcase, or sack) which the mark is then entrusted with. The money is actually not put into the sack or envelope, but is switched for a bag full of newspaper or other worthless material. Through various theatrics, the mark is given the opportunity to make off with money without the stranger realizing. In actuality, the mark would be fleeing from his own money, which the con man still has (or has handed off to an accomplice).
- Swierczynski, Duane (2003), The complete idiot's guide to frauds, scams, and cons, Alpha Books, p. 28, ISBN 978-0-02-864415-8
- "Psychology Today - How to Run a Con". Psychology Today. 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- Arrington, Rick (2006), Crime prevention: the law enforcement officer's practical guide, Jones & Bartlett Publishers, p. 103, ISBN 978-0-7637-4130-3
- Bercowetz, Cynthia (2004), Don't Get Ripped Off! Get Help! Tell It to George, Buy Books on the web, p. 219, ISBN 978-0-7414-2228-6
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