Urgent warning after HEB shopper lost $25,000 while shopping to ‘pigeon scam’

AN ELDERLY woman was scammed out of $25,000 by a “pigeon scam” in which someone pretended to have found a purse with almost $100,000 in it.

The victim, 71, was approached by Tiffany Butler, 39, who said she found the purse around 1 p.m. on April 25 in a grocery store parking lot, HEB, in Friendswood, Texas, about 24 miles from Houston. according to the police.

Tiffany Butler approached the elderly woman with a purse full of money and ended up tricking her through a


Tiffany Butler approached the elderly woman with a purse full of money and ended up tricking her through a “pigeon throw” scamPhoto credit: ABC 13
John Ford, 70, is the other confirmed suspect


John Ford, 70, is the other confirmed suspectPhoto credit: ABC 13

John Ford, 70, of Jackson, Mississippi, is the other confirmed suspect, who initially stopped the 71-year-old woman for a brief chat before Butler arrived.

A pigeon throwing scam is a trick that lures a person into giving up an amount of money in the belief that doing so will secure the right to a larger amount of money.

The victim said the purse contained $97,000 in cash and a $75,000 bond issued to ABC Houston affiliate KTRK reported.

Butler asked the victim what to do with it, and the victim told her to hand it over.

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But Butler convinced the victim to come to a nearby AT&T store, where she allegedly worked, to tell her manager what had happened.

There they discussed what to do with the bag full of money, which led them to speak of the “finder-keeper law”.

Butler convinced the victim that if she withdrew $25,000 from her bank and returned it to the store, they could share the findings.

The victim took the cash to the store and gave it to butler, who never returned.

The 72-year-old woman had just been robbed and left confused.

Butler and Ford were both charged with stealing from the elderly.

In these situations, targeting older people constitutes a separate crime because they are more vulnerable.

Arrest warrants have been issued against her since Thursday.


PaulLeBlanc is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. PaulLeBlanc joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: paulleblanc@dailynationtoday.com.

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