Scammers may return for summer
Seward Police Department warns that as spring turns to summer, it is expected that the individuals or groups commonly referred to as “gypsies, travelers, or Irish travelers” will return to Alaska. SPD reports they are known to engage in fraudulent scam activities which involve outdoor or exterior residential services. These include roofing repairs, asphalt paving, driveway sealing, painting, tree pruning and landscaping. In all cases, the consumer receives an inferior or incomplete job.
In 2011, travelers were reported in Ketchikan and Petersburg in Southeast Alaska, Anchorage and Fairbanks. They travel in groups, and typically stay in one location for two weeks to a month, according to SPD. However, in small Alaskan towns, it is usually only about one to two weeks. Local police departments have been partially successful in protecting their citizens by ensuring the Travelers know that they are under scrutiny. Once they feel that law enforcement is suspicious of their activities, the Travelers move on to the next town.
Citizens are asked to report suspicious activities to Seward Police Department at 224-3338 or the Alaska State Troopers at 262-4453.