Beautiful music could be heard floating through the air in Central New York. It was coming from a man playing the violin. Or was it?

A man has been seen setting up in parking lots around the area with a speaker and a sign that pulled on the heartstrings:

I have a baby and my wife is pregnant. Help to support my family.

Dan Stimler came across the man in the Rome Price Chopper/Market 32 parking lot and took a video of his performance.


Sarah Click even went out to sing with the violin player after seeing it on social media. "I was moved to tears," she said. But those emotions quickly changed after she saw the whole thing may be a scam.

Police Warning

Police across the country are warning people to be aware of the scam where people are pretending to play violins in shopping centers, soliciting money through cash and electronic methods. They aren't really playing at all.

"I never heard of a violin scammer before so I didn't go into this looking for one," Sarah said. "After seeing all these people say "scammer" I had to find out."

Sarah found another person playing the same song and says it sounded exactly the same. "After looking at some videos it seems to be a similar questionable setup. Now I'm in this toss-up of emotions not knowing If it was real or not."

I'm no violin player and can't tell from watching the number of videos whether these people are actually playing or not either.

We've reached out to the Rome Police Department to see if they are aware of the violin player that could be a scammer and we're waiting to hear back.

It wasn't just in Rome either. Violin players were seen at the Herkimer Walmart and the Syracuse area this week.

Whether or not the violin playing was real, Sarah is appreciative of the opportunity to sing. "I'm still happy for the experience but bummed that maybe the world isn't always rainbows and glitter."

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