Violin Playing Scammer Has Covered A Lot of Ground in Greater-Danbury, Many Residents Know It’s Fake
Tapinto.net ran a story on Monday (5/23/22) to warn the public of a possible scam.
The report was all about an individual who has been seen in Mahopac "playing" a violin in public places, and asking for money. The panhandler usually has a sob story about feeding their family or being in need, but witnesses told the paper it's a fake and they've seen the man counting large sums of cash.
To add insult to injury, the music is not real according to the report. The music is pre-recorded and the violin player is really someone pretending to play the violin. I reached out to Putnam County Sheriff Kevin McConville to ask him about the issue, this is what he told me:
"We've had no complaints on them as of yet. If we receive a complaint it would be investigated thoroughly. As long as they don't block pedestrian or vehicle traffic, and no one from the stores or property owner complains - it makes it difficult. If someone has been scammed, we'd look into it. We have been keeping an eye out."
We brought this up on the Ethan and Lou Show this morning (5/24/22) and it generated a lot of buzz.
After we aired the above segment, the mail started to come in and it became evident, that this panhandler covers a lot of ground and he's not subtle. These are some of the messages we received through the I-95 Rock Mobile App:
BigBootyJudi - New Milford
"Yuuuup! They’ve been posted up at Walmart in new Milford. It’s terribly noticeable if you know anything about musical instruments. It’s a well known scam. The insult to injury is the fake music."
Erik - Brookfield
"Hey Lou, they’ve been doing this in Danbury and Bethel for almost a year, I own the Athlete’s Source in the Big Y shopping center and I have called the police on them a couple times. I have had a confrontation with them every time they were in the shopping center. Being a musician I knew it was fake the first time I saw it and I called him out on it. I scare them away every time. Well when he said I had to feed my children, I said I have three children and I have a job, why don’t you try that."
Ron - Stamford
"The violin guy was in Norwalk also last week."
Chris - New Milford
"Saw the violin guy at big y in new Milford and asked him to play Devil Went Down to Georgia and he looked like a deer in headlights. Long story short, he didn’t receive any money."
Dill Pickle - New Milford
"I've seen the violin guy in the BK and Aldi parking lot in New Milford."
Alex Plus - New Milford
"Morning fellas! I'm looking at the picture of this violin guy on TapInto; guy's got a Calvin Klein shirt on, Puma pants, some nice sneakers, some kind of designer glasses... There was a guy who came up to me at a gas station once; asked me for a few bucks to get something to eat... WHILE HE'S EATING A SANDWICH! No joke. The audacity! Love you guys; have a great day!"
Mahopac Mike - Mahopac
"I saw him at ShopRite in Glenville."
Deb - Oakville
"I read an article that said panhandlers can make 40-60K a year….that's more than I make at my 40hr/week J.O.B."
This one is not making people happy, and I can understand. This needles at a sensitive spot for anyone who has ever been in need, or who has wanted to help another person. You shouldn't have to wonder if someone is trying to take advantage of you, when you hand them a dollar.