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Home  >  Topics  >  Investigations

December 18, 2003
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Fake Officers Convinced People to Give Them Money -- Indianapolis

Indianapolis Police are investigating two fraud cases in which men posing as law enforcement officers allegedly convinced people to give them money.

Police said the crimes -- one happened Tuesday, and the other on Sept. 19 -- were variations of the classic "pigeon-drop" scam, in which officer imposters show a badge and get a victim to hand them cash for what they say is temporary safekeeping.

The two incidents could be related, the Indianapolis Police Department said. No suspects were named.

Police said a 57-year-old Indianapolis man was targeted Tuesday. Two men in plainclothes went to his home, identified themselves as detectives, and told them they were trying to locate a person who once lived in his home, according to a police report.

They then convinced him to go with them to a bank, where the 57-year-old cashed a check. They demanded cash from the man and took at least $139, police said.

In the Sept. 19 incident, two men approached a 79-year-old outside her Indianapolis home, identified themselves as FBI (news - web sites) agents and showed badges, police said.

After telling her they were trying to determine whether she was harboring a certain criminal, they convinced her to hand them $5,200 that she had been saving in the home, police said.

IPD said law enforcement officers have no reason to request, view or handle people's cash or banking information without a signed court order or warrant.

Also, legitimate police officials are required to show a photo identification card when identifying themselves in plainclothes, IPD said.

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