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RNRF Attempts Counter-Scam on Fraudulent WREC Employee

SPRING HILL – Bandit, burglar, thief, crook, pilferer, swindler, whatever term you use they are constantly waiting in the shadows for unsuspecting victims to relieve them of their hard earned cash.  

Unfortunately, Hernando County has its share of scoundrels looking for every opportunity to take advantage of naïve and trusting individuals.

Today, a local well-known flower shop nearly fell-victim to a utility company scam, which could have taken them for $500 cash.

After reporting the scam to law enforcement, shop owners contacted RNRF, hoping to get the word out the community.

Shop employees, who did not wish to be identified, say a man who claimed to work for Withlacoochee Electric called and demanded nearly $500 or they would shut off their power.

The suspect asked the shop employees to meet them at Office Depot on Cortez Blvd, where he would accept the cash.

Before shop owners tipped the suspect off to their suspicions, RNRF offered to meet with the suspect, disguised as a flower delivery driver and capture the exchange on video.

When I arrived at the designated location, with envelope in hand, I received a call from the suspect, asking me to purchase a prepaid Visa Card and load it with $500. I asked where I would be meeting him but he said “No we won’t be meeting… You will just call this number and enter the information from your card into a Pay Pal account.”

Disappointed that our “counter-scam” had failed, I decided to come clean and interview the caller.

RNRF – So how much money do you make scamming people of their hard earned money?

Suspect – What? Um… What do you mean?

RNRF – Well, I just want to know if you make hundreds of thousands or millions?

Suspect – I don’t know what you mean. I only make $8.00 an hour.

RNRF – Really? Let me ask you something. Is your office in Miami?

Suspect – Um, yes.

RNRF – Did you know investigators are aware of your location and that you may be contacted my law enforcement soon?

Suspect – No, I did not know!

RNRF – Yes, its true. I am a reporter with RNRF news and you are scamming people of thousands of dollars every day. How do you feel about that?

Suspect – I did not know. I will quit my job as soon as I hang up… I promise. I did not know.

RNRF – Okay… Have a great day.

Unfortunately, scams like these happen every day and officials say they are nearly impossible to track and prosecute because they cross numerous jurisdictions.

If you believe you are being victimized by a scam artist, contact law enforcement right away. And then… Contact RNRF.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2015 Real News Real Fast, Inc.


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  • I know and it’s reall sad. If people have a problem with me i wish they would just leave it with me.

    Thursday, 3 September 2015, 11:34 am
  • OMG Orsen,all you said was just hang up and you are being verbally attacked by Jenny moore, sound like she is one brick short of a full load. WOW. No worries,I hope she feels better soon.

    Thursday, 3 September 2015, 9:02 am
  • Wow just because i have an opinion people want to attack my son my cat my dog and my goldfish…what losers

    Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 11:33 pm
  • Get your facts straight. I have a job and work every day. And we don’t sell drugs and don’t know where you get your info and if you knew me you would know better. I run everyone from my home and you must be one of the idiots i have ran off. And just let me say you must be one of these fools i offended on the streets out here and if you have a problem with me leave it with me. Dont bring anyone else into your problem

    Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 11:28 pm

    Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 11:09 pm
  • Why aren’t officials checking the phone records to trace back to these scammers? If it is a cheap prepaid phone they can still find out where it was purchased and establish a pattern to find out where they are being purchased. Then they can do a bit of detective work with the assistance of shop owners to try and pinpoint the scammers thru more “burner” sales.

    Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 7:19 pm
  • If I don’t recognize the number I don’t answer, I did once with Microsoft scam and said you are a crook, I don’t have a computerand ,foreign accent he cussed me out and hung up. But even with caller ID u aren’t safe, my daughter who lives in another state got a call and looked at caller ID it was her own phone number calling her. THANK TOM FOR ALL YOU DO,,

    Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 6:45 pm
  • Just hang up on them. Problem solved

    Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 5:33 pm
  • Thank you Tom for doing this. Unfortunately, elderly people do get scared and Intimidated and fall for scams everyday. It’s horrible.

    Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 5:30 pm
  • People need to watch out for the telephone scam, where they call and state that they are from Mircrosoft. They tell you that you have a virus and they are calling to help you. What they want is for you to go on your computer and type in certain things so they can get access to your computer. I have had 3 phone calls within the year.

    Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 4:56 pm
  • Well guess your friend is the dumb ass for falling for the scam, really you should call your friend that not tom. Tom was just warning everyone which is a good American in my book. The more we stamd up the better things will get and i don’t mean with a gun either. One man don’t win a game, it takes the hole TEAM to be a good TEAM we must play together

    Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 3:24 pm
  • You know mr tom i don’t know what’s wrong with some people, but im glad you are who you are and give us the facts and appreciate time you and staff give us..thank you

    Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 3:16 pm
  • I have a good friend that did get scammed yesterday. and real news blew any chance of catching the scammers by calling them and confronting them by phone. what the hell were you thinking. it’s a police matter and you had no right to stick your noise in .we talked to a deputy and he said after you called the scammers they already packed up and took off by now. now my friend really has no chance to even bring them to justice. you dumb ***

    Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 1:27 pm
      • If you knew they didn’t operate locally why did you take your video camera and an envelope and go to Office Depot. You said “When I arrived at the designated location, with envelope in hand, I received a call from the suspect,” How did they know you were there?

        Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 7:27 pm
  • Wait you all worried about paypal and prepaid when the dude said meet at the Office Depot parking lot. If ANYONE falls for that they are as FG said Stupid is as Stupid does. Be real here. You gotta have some brains and common sense about these things.

    Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 10:22 am
  • No legitimate agency calls you on the telephone to collect a past due payment without first sending you a mailed notification. This includes your electric company, water company, bank, cable tv, internet and even the IRS. The IRS does not call, e-mail, fax or text ever. If you haven’t received an official document for payment request via USPS, it is not legitimate.

    Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 9:14 am
  • load a pre paid card?????? what kinda stupid?????????

    Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 12:11 am
  • Also utilities companies do not take payments via PayPal.

    Tuesday, 1 September 2015, 11:44 pm
    • Although they should, PayPal isn’t the culprit and will cooperate with officials on any scam investigation.

      Wednesday, 2 September 2015, 9:24 am
  • So here’s what to do if you are called by these scum bags. When they call, you simply tell them that you will go to the office and make the payment. If it is after hours tell them you will take the chance and wait till the next day. You have basically put them in a corner in which you have the upper hand. Know this folks, no utilities company will ever ask you to get a prepaid card and meet someone or mail the card or whatever. Be alert when someone calls you with such an absurd request. Best suggestion is to demand to meet with the person or they will not get the payment. Then call the authorities and have them be at said location. There are many ways around these scams. Well done Tom. You should have demanded to meet with him and take no for an answer.

    Tuesday, 1 September 2015, 11:41 pm
  • N of course the sheriff didn’t Join the investigation and arrest him.

    Tuesday, 1 September 2015, 10:43 pm
  • Low life’s taking advantage of peoples hard earned money! Get a freaking job like everyone else!

    Tuesday, 1 September 2015, 9:19 pm
  • Another great job Tom and we thank you for keeping us informed to the scams that these lowlives are coming up with.

    Tuesday, 1 September 2015, 8:58 pm
  • Thanks Tom for getting the word out to the street.

    Tuesday, 1 September 2015, 8:51 pm
  • Thank you for warning the public against these
    scammers, Tom Lemons.

    Tuesday, 1 September 2015, 8:15 pm
  • Scum bags. This is really sad. Do you mean little cuba

    Tuesday, 1 September 2015, 8:14 pm

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