By Ryan Velez
Dorothy Edge, a 65-year-old retired nanny from Brooklyn, N.Y., lost nearly $28,000 in a pigeon drop scam and was candid and frustrated when sharing her story with CBS New York.
“I’m calling myself stupid, and I don’t want anyone to be stupid like me and get scammed,” Edge said plainly. The scam took place earlier this month when someone stopped at her door asking for directions. During the conversation, the woman mentioned to Edge that she was from South Africa and had just inherited a lot of money that she was not able to take home.
“She shows three letters—one from a high priest and one from three lawyers,” Edge said. “She cannot take back the money to South Africa because the government will confiscate it.” While pleading her case, the woman stopped another passerby in a pastor’s garb. When this supposed heiress talked to the preacher, the pastor offered to donate money and used Edge’s help to prove he would not steal it.
“The man with the Bible in his hand who said he’s a pastor and he’s going to help—that’s what caused me to trust—the pastor,” Edge said. The two then took her to 31st Street, where the pastor got a bag of his own money to prove he could be trusted, before driving the women to Edge’s home to prove the same.
“From 26 years I came to this country I started saving that money—26 years!” Edge said. “And I went down there and I showed it to them and said, ‘This is my money. If you leave the money with me, I will give it to Saint Jude.’” Without a green card, Edge kept her life savings rolled up in a sock, as she could not use a bank. When she handed the money over, the pair claimed they wanted to bless the money, “She put it in a black kerchief and she wrapped it up, and that is where the money switched,” Edge said. To Edge’s horror, she went home and opened the bag only to find pieces of newspaper and the two thieves long gone.
“I’m willing to work to pay my bills, but who is going to give me a job?” she said, according to Vibe.