Thursday, June 2, 2016


This week a man came to the house asking if we needed our trees trimmed.  He gave me his business card which showed that he was "insured and bonded";  however, I noticed that the telephone number was not a local number.  Having family in Florida, I recognized the number as being from Florida.  I said, "I see you're from Florida."  He said that he lived here now but "hadn't gotten around" to changing his phone service.  I asked where his business was located and he replied that he rented a storage shed for his tools.  I asked where he lived and he gave me an address.  I asked for references and he actually gave me a list but none were local.  I told him I would call him back after I had checked his references.   

I noticed that he had an Irish surname.  When I asked, "Do you speak Shelta?",  I noticed a strange look cross his face and he answered, "No, Ma'am."

Shelta is the language of The Irish Travelers.

I told Gerald, "I think we just had an Irish Traveler come to the door."  My brother quipped, "They make all of us Irish  look bad!"

Several years ago, I learned of two people who were victims of the same scam.  A con artist, Rosie, worked as a waitress at a local restaurant and I believe she was a member of the group known as "The Irish Travelers".

The first person who told me about the scam had actually suggested that I request the particular waitress to be my server when I went to the restaurant because she was the "best" waitress she'd ever known.

One day, the customer opened her door to find Rosie there, crying. Rosie told her that her utilities were ready to be turned off and that she was behind on her mortgage, car payment, etc., and she had her grandchild at home. Rosie asked the customer to loan her money and she showed her a picture of a house in Florida that was supposedly being sold and said that she said she would be getting a check from there soon and she would be able to pay her back with interest. Somehow, Rosie was able to get $5,000 from this person.  I asked the obvious question: "Have you gone to the police?" The answer was no, because by the time she realized she'd been duped, the waitress couldn't be found, her address in town was phony, and she'd left her job without notice, and besides, she was too embarrassed to report it.

The second person, whom I knew only slightly, called me and told me that she was trying to find a waitress who had worked at a local restaurant and she'd been told that the waitress had gone to another restaurant where a woman named Raypole was the Manager. I gave her the relative's telephone number. I asked, "You probably don't want to tell me, but is the waitress named Rosie and did she come to you with a hard-luck story and that she had a house in Florida?" The woman said, "Yes, were you a victim too?" I said, "No, but you're the second person who has told me this story." 

This woman then told me that she and her husband went to the restaurant regularly and when Rosie came to her home, the woman gave her only $2,000 with the proviso that Rosie must come there to work off the debt. Of course, Rosie agreed. Little did the woman know, but Rosie waited for the woman to leave and came back later and accosted the woman's husband, who gave Rosie $3,000! 

Can you imagine the nerve? When Rosie did not show up to work at the couple's business, the husband and wife returned to the restaurant and learned that Rosie was no longer there; when they inquired they were told she went to another restaurant. That wasn't true. The couple was also too embarrassed to go to the police.

I wonder how many people Rosie was able to con before moving to another locale or was her goal just $10,000?   Rosie had an Irish surname.

Why do people so willingly divulge personal information to complete strangers? I have the reputation of "interviewing" everyone with whom I come in contact. I do it because I'm interested in people. As I said to the first person who was scammed, "She found out EVERYTHING she needed about you: she knew what kind of car you drive, where you live, how many kids you have,  that you live alone and she knew you were a generous tipper, so she knew you had disposable income." Both of the victims couldn't believe they had been taken. I said, "They're clever and they know their marks!"  WHY don't people report it to the authorities?

CLICK HERE to read a blog article entitled "Abbreviated History of the Irish Travelers."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OMG! They're back! ML