McCracken Co. officials investigating scam involving the elderly - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

McCracken Co. officials investigating scam involving the elderly

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY (KFVS) -

McCracken County officials are warning the public of a traveling group of scammers who allegedly forced their way into a woman's home and stole form her under the guise of selling her goods.

On Monday, an 84 year old McCracken County woman reported two men approached her while she was picking up her newspaper, and assisted her with the door as she was returning back inside her home on Yarbro Lane. 

The woman said that one of the men held the door for her, and then the two men pushed their way into her home. 

One of the men told her to sit down and began trying to sell her vinyl flooring. 

The says that while one of the men held up a large piece of vinyl flooring, the other disappeared and began rummaging through the home. 

She says she assumed the other man had rummaged through her home, because she later discovered collector coins missing from a spare bedroom. 

She described the two men as follows:

  • A thin white male, approximately 32-years-old, with dark hair and a mustache
  • A short stocky white male, approximately 45-years-old, with dark hair

The victim said the two men were driving a rust colored, two-door car.

It is believed that the two men are part of a criminal element often called “Travelers or Gypsies.”    

The McCracken County Sheriff's Department says the Travelers usually prey on the elderly by offering to help, by repairing roofs and driveways. 

Most of the time the repairs are shoddy and sometimes go unfinished.  

The repairmen are usually unlicensed.  

Travelers are also known to commit what is called “distraction burglaries.”

The men sometimes pose as officials (including council, police, utility workers, door-to-door salesmen, contractors, real estate agents, volunteer service groups, medical examiners), to gain the targeted victims confidence, allowing them to enter the home during daytime hours.

Once inside, one person keeps the victim busy or distracted while the other steals valuables from another part of the home.

If anyone has information regarding this crime, please contact the McCracken County Sheriff's Department at 444-4719, or contact Crimestoppers at 443-TELL.

Also, if anyone encounters a similar situation, please contact your local law enforcement.

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