Police Advise On How to Avoid Nomadic Scammers

In the middle of the day, on busy streets, or at crowded businesses.

"The types of crime range from petty crimes, such as shoplifting, to identity theft, such as the ATM scammers," said Gabe Thompson.

A type of criminal that preys on the unsuspecting.

"They typically target the elderly. It's not always the case, but it's often the case," said Better Business Bureau President John Riggins.

"In Abilene, we are a very giving city, so with that comes a lot of people fell bad for someone when they see them on the side of the road with a sign that says that they're struggling and so they naturally want to help them which is a good quality for our city," said Thompson.

The culprit?

"Sometimes they're described as Romanians, sometimes they're described as Irish travelers, sometimes they're described as gypsies. This is a trained, ongoing effort," said Riggins.

Travelers have made their way to Abilene and into citizens pockets.

"We're going to take the money and you're stupid for giving it to us is the attitude adopted," said Thompson.

The travelers scam with different forms of ruses: From offering house work for cheap to panhandling. Each scheme results in the victim being tricked in to giving away money.

"All of these scams that they do play on people's emotions so we need to think logically about things and not emotionally about what's going on in a particular situation to avoid giving out money you don't need to," said Thompson.

Another way to avoid being scammed is to ask for validation, from seeing the so called workers credentials and references to viewing a permit.

"Ask them for their permit to solicit and in Abilene it is required to have a permit," said Riggins.

The best thing you can do is be aware.


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