A new kind of scam has been making waves in the United States lately. Fake Violin-playing scammers with signs that say, “Help me feed my 3 kids” or “Help me pay the rent. God bless you” are taking advantage of kind hearted people.
This scam is becoming popular and is been performed almost in any parking lot or grocery shop you can think of. So how do these scammers work? How can you spot a fake violin player?
How Do These Scammers Work?
From our investigations, and that of KETK NBC, the fake violin playing scam is performed by a gang of travelers. Often times, these scammers perform with a woman and a child in the background acting as their ‘Wife’ and ‘Kid’.
Then the signs ‘Please Help me, I’ve lost my Job. I have two kids. Help for food and rent, God bless!‘
Damn! This got me in my feelings. Do you know what it takes for one to shove shame away and beg in public? I bet I’d even give my last dime to this impoverished family. BUT……..that isn’t the story!
These scammers have written a beautiful script, got a speaker that plays music flawlessly, and now they’re playing with our emotions with a fake Violin!
How To Spot A Fake Violin Player
Even if you know nothing about musical instruments, you can still fish out a fake violinist. You only need to pay attention WITH YOUR EYES!
Though the sound coming from the speaker next to the player is loud and flawless. If you observe carefully you’d see that the bow doesn’t even touch the surface of the instrument.
Also, during the different points in the performance, the songs would feature note changes or the vibrato would cause expressive shifts in the pitch of the song, but the fake violinist’s fingers wouldn’t move on the fingerboard. That’s some kind of magic!
When you request for a scale — A minor or C major, the supposed ‘violin player’ would feign tiredness and would start packing his instruments!
This scam is pretty much common, and has become more rampant now in 2021. These scammers travel from place to place, taking advantage of good natured people. They’ve been noticed in Washington, Florida Target, Houston, College Station, etc.
What do you think should be done? Have you ever given money to a fake violinist? Please share your experience and opinion in the comment section below.
- Wendy is a fraud fighter whose contents mainly target online scams. Her investigations have appeared on Itisreviewed,and elsewhere. She spends her free time reading novels, binging on Netflix, and listening to hip-hop.
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They got me this past weekend. The music was so beautiful but I listened from a distance. When I pulled up to give a donation, I didn’t stay to watch after I donated because other people were coming over to do the same. This was at a strip mall in Lisbon, CT.
Yes, I just gave to the guy there, and then an elderly gentleman pulled up and said that was a fake violin…How can you even tell? I think they should get rid of the backtrack and play themselves in between, all I know is he won’t be getting my money again. Shame on them, as real musicians might get hell for this.
Real musicians wouldn’t be in strip malls w/ BS stories about their “family”.
There are literally hundreds of companies that are shorthanded in every town across the country. I like helping others but they have to want to help themselves. No reason to be waiting for handouts. Go get a job. I’ve seen a “violinist” twice. Both times, I drove through the shopping center and looked for help wanted signs. There were at least 2 places hiring in both instances. No handouts from me.
So true! Thanks for pointing this out. I will not enable a deceiver when so many businesses are struggling.
There is someone across the street from me occasionally. I give him a buck every time because the music is beautiful and he is adding a great ambience to the area. It is really irrelevant that he is really playing, just like a magician doesn’t really do magic. He is providing entertainment. Soooo much better than just standing there with your kids out of school begging and providing no service to the community whatsoever.
I fallen victim!! The wife and kid got me with the sign. Then I saw another violin playing in a different location. Now I see one 45 mins from my home destination….I started questioning and glad I did!!! No more stringing me along!!
Yes, but you are giving in full knowledge of the truth. Don’t you think others should have that luxury? Or do you think it’s ok that they are not aware of the truth when they give of their money?
I seen a violin player here in Florida and I walked by and said scammer to myself
My feeling is if I am “prompted” in my inner being to help them out, I am going to do so because I’d rather be obedient to the promptings than worry about if it’s fake or not. I’ll let Jesus take care of the rest.
This is a deplorable scam. First they are taking advantage of highly trafficked PRIVATE PROPERTIES such as grocery stores, Target, Best Buy, Costco, Trader Joe’s, etc., etc. The fraud is perpetrated by a sad story involving loss of job, have kids can’t pay rent and need food. Most people have a good heart and want to believe in our fellow humans but these scammers are the worst of the worst!!
Here in AZ, they have been frequenting the shopping center where I work, and recently, I’m seeing them at other shopping areas as well. At first, I thought it was kind of cool… something different to hear, and I didn’t notice the signs in the beginning. But now that it’s become daily, I’m realizing the music doesn’t vary much at all. It’s become annoying realizing they’re not even playing as well as the constant begging for money day after day. And on the drive home, there’s several at the streetlights sans the violin. One begins to feel harassed.
Nevertheless, I’d be more inclined to give if there were no signs and no speakers.
So then walk up with a fake story of your own. Tell them your a music producer and want to hire them to play on an artists album right now because the real guy never showed to the studio. $ 1,000,000 for a days work.