Montgomery County Department of Police Posts Clarification on Violin Scam

by Patrick Herron

On Thursday, MCPD released a tweet alerting residents about a nationwide scam involving people playing electric violins in front of local businesses to solicit money. Reports of similar scams have been reported in places like Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and other locations over the past year.

In the statement, MCPD referred to these individuals as “buskers”, which is a person who performs music or other entertainment in the street or another public place for monetary donations, which led to many people thinking the MCPD was targeting actual musicians/street performers.

On Friday MCPD released the following statement, hoping to add clarification to their original post:

“MCPD is aware of the activities of these individuals, but we do not enforce panhandling laws and there is no criminal violation.

These individuals are pretending to play the violin over a music trac (sic) and claim to be homeless or have a sick relative, which is usually untrue. MCPD cannot discourage anyone from giving money,  but does offer a word of warning to be cautious, especially if using phone apps.”

Below is the original statement from MCPD:

“WARNING: This is a nationwide issue, please be aware of scam violin players that have become present in Rockville and other location’s shopping centers. These groups are known as buskers. They are illicitly soliciting money through cash AND electronic methods. Make sure to be cautious.

Please share this alert to others. Stay Safe.


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