Residents in the Ohio city of Oxford have been warned to prepare for an invasion of Irish Travelers with the ethnic minority depicted in a very poor light by the local media.
Police and media have warned residents to prepare for a series of potential scams at the hands of the Irish Travelers, described as ‘traditionally nomadic people’.
The reality is that Irish Travelers are believed to be the direct descendants of families evicted from their lands during the Famine.
They have endured huge hardship in Ireland over the years with many travelling from town to town in caravans and several thousand living in Britain.
Police In Ohio believe many of the Irish Travelers, expected to descend on town in a convoy of between 20 and 30 trucks in the coming weeks, are mere scam merchants.
They have warned locals to beware of Black Top gangs looking to tarmac their drives.
The Fox report also claims that: “The group has several scams they perpetrate on unsuspecting homeowners including, but not limited to black top repair scams, tree cutting scams and meter reader scams.
“The black top scam may consist of taking advantage of consumers by doing cosmetic work and then overcharging for the service.
“In the tree cutting scam, the scam artist may ask the homeowner to show them where the property line is located. The homeowner is then distracted long enough for another group of scam artists to enter the home and steal valuables.
“Some of the Travelers may act like meter readers and gain access to the house. They, too, will distract the victim so another group can enter and steal valuables.”
Police have told senior citizens and other vulnerable members of their community to be alert to the potential scams.
They also advise that door to door soliciting is illegal without a city permit and urge community members not to do business with contractors that go door to door soliciting business without checking with the Oxford Chamber of Commerce or the Better Business Bureau.
Residents are advised to contact the police immediately if the Irish Travelers land on their doorstep.