Tampa, Florida - A scammer has been targeting elderly women using a red light camera scam.
"I can't believe [someone] would want to hurt people like that," said a Tampa victim who only wanted to be identified as Janet.
On Thursday afternoon, she received a call from a man who called himself Lieutenant Bell.
The man claimed to be with the Tampa Violations Bureau, which Tampa Police officials say does not exist.
He told her that she ran a red light camera at the corner of Florida Avenue and Waters Avenue, and was warned that if she didn't pay him, she would be arrested.
"I was totally freaked out because I don't want to go to jail," she said. "I had no reason to doubt him."
The 61-year-old was told to put $400 on a Green Dot Prepaid card and call him with the account number.
Janet complied with the man on the phone, but later found out she was scammed...That's when she called police.
Tampa Police detectives says the scammer had an elaborate plan, and even went through the trouble of setting up a voicemail system for the "Tampa Violations Bureau" to solidify the con.
"He's pretty brazen to get victims to pay money," said Detective Mike Victor with TPD.
Victor said that there have been three incidents, including scamming Janet, over the last few days.
10 News did try the telephone number that the con-man left on Janet's voicemail, but by Friday night, it had already been disconnected.
Tampa Police say residents will never get a phone call seeking payment of a red light camera violation. If anyone does receive a call from the suspect, you're asked to report it to the Tampa Police Department at 813-231-6130.
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