Taking a trip to your local supermarket or big-box store can be boring, so if you pull into the parking lot and see a violinist performing beautiful music, you are likely take notice and maybe even be moved, however, police are warning that many of those musicians actually don't know how to play and are just there to get your money.
There are plenty of talented buskers out there who perform on the streets for tips, but unfortunately, there are also scam artists, and they have made their way to the parking lots of local big-box stores and supermarkets. They've been spotted in towns across the country, often pretending to play an electric violin when really the music is all on the backing track that accompanies them. They typically have signs that say they are trying to support their family and ask for money.
Police have been using Facebook to try to warn unsuspecting victims about the scam.
It should be noted that it is actually not illegal for someone to act like they are playing an instrument and ask for tips, however, if the store they are playing in front of asks them to leave and they don't, that is illegal. Nonetheless, police urge people to think twice about who they donate to.
It is also upsetting for trained musicians, who have put in the time and effort to learn an instrument, to see people pretending to have done the work and get paid for it. One violinist who called out a scam artist spoke to her local news station about it.
While some may consider the violinists scammers, there are also some kind-hearted people out there who don't care if the "musicians" are truly playing or not - all they see is someone in need and that's why they give them money.