Folks in need, or con artists?

That's the question that a lot of Montanans have when it comes to the different folks "playing" instruments at different retail parking lots around town. All one has to do is head over to Target during the day here in Bozeman and you are more than likely to see one or more folks playing the violin or the accordion while asking for money.

According to many Bozemanites, it's all a scam.

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Recently someone posted a picture of one of the "musicians" playing the violin on Reddit and a whole lot of folks claimed she was faking. In fact, one of my co-workers headed over there yesterday to see for himself and soon realized that the woman playing the violin, wasn't really playing the violin.

Stuart Miles

Oh, and it seems that this violin scam isn't just here in Montana; in fact, another co-worker was visiting a Target in North Dakota a few weeks back, and guess what she saw? Someone acting like they were playing the violin with a sign very similar to the ones our "local musicians" have.

While I certainly understand that sometimes in life you need a little help and the cost of living here is outrageous, I'm also reminded that the store in that very parking lot is hiring people with pretty decent starting wages.

Air guitar isolated back ground
Jonangelo molinari

So what do Bozemanites have to say about our little local symphony of a few? Here are some of their comments below:

"Yeah, saw a man doing that the other day too, I'm assuming they're working together."

"Lol when I was just there, she wasn't even attempting to play anymore, just sitting while the music went on. very mildly infuriating..."

"The same people were outside T&C in Belgrade. Apparently, it’s a nationwide scam but wooo is it some BS."

"Seen the same lady doing this last year and today as well, last year she had her kid pretending to be playing. You’ll walk out of the store and hear it playing and them not moving, let alone even holding it up, then they act like they’re playing when people watch."

"In my mind, this is a scam. just playing music ok. just asking for money, annoying but ok. misrepresenting yourself as something you're not, not ok."

So what do you think? Is it ok to fake playing an instrument in order to try and get money? Do you think this is someone asking for help, or is it a scam? Let us know by sending us a message on our app.

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