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Fake Officers Convinced People to Give Them Money

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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