A relatively new scam that utilizes $100 bills is popping up again this holiday season.
St. Louis, Missouri resident Kyri Viehman noticed a $100 bill flapping from under her windshield wiper the other day after she and her baby son went shopping with her mom.
“I thought someone was #pimpinjoy for this single mom wrestling with a crabby toddler around the holidays. That’s where my naivety came into play. I pulled over to the side of the road to retrieve this miracle money that came into my life at the perfect time,” Viehman recounted in a Facebook post that has gone viral.
“The bill was placed under the wipers where you had to get out of your car, walk around front, and grab it (you could not just roll down your window). I opened the bill, and it read something similar to ‘Ha you thought this was real didn’t you?'”
The idea is that most shoppers will notice the bills after they first start their car in parking lots, and get out to inspect them. Then someone takes advantage.
“You leave the car running, open the door, walk over and grab the dollar bill and they jump in behind the wheel and take your car,” Viehman told Fox2. Her mother also had a bill on her vehicle that she noticed while driving.
Some people are calling the purported scam a hoax, and neither the St. Louis County Police nor the Missouri Attorney General has heard of it before.
But Maryland Asst. Attorney General for Consumer Protection Karen Straughn warned people last year that the scam is indeed real.
“We don’t want to scare people, but we do want you to be careful,” she told WJLA.
“This is the holiday shopping time. This is when the criminals are going to come out. This is when the scam artists are coming out. They’re trying to get your money and trying to get your safety in any way they can.”
The Maryland Attorney General office received multiple reports of the scam happening in Maryland.
“It’s sad that people have to stoop to that kind of level, especially around this time of year,” said shopper Lorie Davia.
“$100 looks good to a lot of people, so they probably would jump out and get it,” added another shopper, Michelle Giles.
Viehman said in a follow-up post, after receiving lots of criticism, that she made what happened to her public “to make others become aware of their surroundings.”