Grifter's secrets may help you from being scammed

November 12, 2010

He claims to be the leader of the gypsy culture in Philadelphia.

He's a man who knows the tactics transient criminals use to hunt for elderly targets.

"They'll see a house, old curtains, old looking, they know there are older people living there," George said.

They use door knock scams, posing as utility workers and contractors to distract people at the front door, while someone else sneaks inside and steals.

Or the sweetheart swindles, where the young and beautiful befriend older men, fake a deadly illnesses and proceed to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Cutty says some fortune tellers can run scams.

Abington Police Department Chief John Livingood is part of the National Association of Bunco Investigators (NABI), a law enforcement group committed to taking down transient criminals. He works closely with detectives from around the country, sharing information, trends, and, more importantly, photos to catch these elusive suspects.

"The people that are committing these crimes have pretty much grown up in this culture," Livingood said.

People like Sandra Anderson or 'Cooter' as she's known and her mother, Paula Marion, or 'Peaches.' The two pleaded guilty to bilking an Upper Darby man for over $300,000. Cooter was busted again in July for a similar scam and it was Cutty who orchestrated the blonde hair blue eyed beauty's surrender to authorities.

"She has the looks and she has the personality and she knows what she is doing," George said.

Cutty claims to have no involvement with criminal elements. He says his family strictly deals in fortune telling. He admits, though, he's facing charges for threatening another psychic owner at gunpoint in Egg Harbor; they are allegations he denies.

The 58-year-old says he's a snitch who works closely with authorities. Sources say that give him status amongst his people; they know he's a fixer who can get them out of a jam.

Cutty will now have to fix his own situation; he is due in court later on this month to face the assault charges in Egg Harbor.

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