It is a sight that we have been seeing a lot lately in the news and on social media. Men and women are setting up in parking lots and playing an electric violin while asking for tips.

They aren't begging but are they really playing the violin? Or are they just playing us?

These performers started popping up all over the Hudson Valley back in November before the holiday shopping season. Are they making a comeback? These scams have been noticed not just in the Hudson Valley region but all over the country.

When you approach many of these 'violinists' you discover that they are not really playing. They're actually pretending to play while violin music comes out of a large speaker. I understand that a lot of people out there are faking it in exchange for cash but are they really all scammers? Is there an honest violinist still out there? What if a talented violinist wants to show off their skills for tips?

I came across one of these performers outside the Shoprite in Fishkill, New York. He was in the parking lot holding a violin and he looked like he was playing it. Was I being scammed? I honestly have no idea!


I was skeptical at first. I approached him and he stopped playing. No notes played while his fingers were not on the neck of the violin. I asked him if he was aware of the scam. He ignored me, walked away, and then put his fingers on the neck and started playing.

If this was a scam it was extremely elaborate. Was the violin music timed and he knew it perfectly? Was he really playing? He fooled me. I gave him a dollar because either way, I was impressed.


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