Familiar scam hits Hillsborough Co laundromats - WFLA News Channel 8

Familiar scam hits Hillsborough Co laundromats

Posted: Updated:
Laundromat owner Ben Donato was nearly scammed out of hundreds of dollars Laundromat owner Ben Donato was nearly scammed out of hundreds of dollars
The Town N' Country Laundromat was targeted by scammers The Town N' Country Laundromat was targeted by scammers
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - Keeping the washers and dryers going at the Town N' Country Laundromat takes a lot of power. Out of the blue, Ben Donato got a call on Saturday, threatening to cut off his electricity unless he paid almost a thousand dollars. The caller was specific. "Well, what you have to do is go to a Walmart he said, and get a Money Pak."

Money Pak is a pre-paid debit card available at places like Walmart and Walgreens. As Donato raced to the store to buy one, the man called several times. "I believed it. But when he gave me the wrong account numbers," said Donato, he smelled a rat and didn't pay.

Cherie Jacobs from Tamp Electric Company says this scam is 2-years-old but activity has picked up in the last three to six months. "We will never call you and demand payment over the phone and we will never call you and demand that you go buy a debit card to pay your bill." she said.

Scammers are using Magic Jack devices that provide cheap phone service over the internet making it tough to trace calls. "Tampa Electric is working with Magic Jack to help disconnect some of these phone numbers. Jacobs says TECO, working with law enforcement, disconnected more than 30 Magic Jack numbers in the past three months. 
 
News Channel 8 On Your Side called the number the laundromat owners were called from. But only got a recording saying, thank you for calling the "disconnect team."

Laundromat owner Marcie Reale, is frustrated she cannot get law enforcement attention for her case. "But everybody kept telling me, they can't do anything until a crime is committed. No crime has been committed. No money has changed hands. "

But Reale says she knows a laundromat owner that got taken for about $800.


Stay connected with the news of the day. Download the WFLA news app today. It’s FREE http://8.wfla.com/1etbepy



  • NewsMore>>

  • 13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

    13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

    Saturday, April 19 2014 9:02 PM EDT2014-04-20 01:02:31 GMT
    Rescuers were digging through piles of snow and ice Saturday for four Sherpa guides buried on Mount Everest when an avalanche swept down the slopes and killed 12 other Nepalese guides in the deadliest disaster on...
    Search teams recovered a 13th body Saturday from the snow and ice covering a dangerous climbing pass on Mount Everest, where an avalanche a day earlier swept over a group of Sherpa guides in the deadliest disaster on the...
  • Polk County deputies searching for Winter Haven man

    Polk County deputies searching for Winter Haven man

    Saturday, April 19 2014 8:44 PM EDT2014-04-20 00:44:05 GMT
    Polk County sheriff's deputies are asking for the public's help to locate Travis "Pinky Barrientos of Winter Haven.Deputies said a warrant has been issued for Barrientos' arrest for attempted second degree murder. He is considered armed and dangerous.Early Saturday morning Barrientos and 32-year-old Juan Bautista got into an altercation on Rifle Range Road in Wahneta, a Polk County Sheriff's Office news release stated. Barrientos stabbed Bautista several times and threatened his life/Bautista...
    Polk County sheriff's deputies are asking for the public's help to locate Travis "Pinky Barrientos of Winter Haven.Deputies said a warrant has been issued for Barrientos' arrest for attempted second degree murder. He is considered armed and dangerous.Early Saturday morning Barrientos and 32-year-old Juan Bautista got into an altercation on Rifle Range Road in Wahneta, a Polk County Sheriff's Office news release stated. Barrientos stabbed Bautista several times and threatened his life/Bautista...
  • 10 more bodies found inside sunken ferry by divers

    10 more bodies found inside sunken ferry by divers

    Saturday, April 19 2014 8:42 PM EDT2014-04-20 00:42:24 GMT
    The captain of the ferry that sank off South Korea, leaving more than 300 missing or dead, was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of negligence and abandoning people in need. Two crew members also were taken into...
    Divers recovered 13 bodies from inside a ferry that sank off South Korea, pushing the confirmed death toll to 46, officials said Sunday. The discovery came after rescuers finally gained access to the inside of the ship...
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Arcadia dog set on fire improving, could be released early

    Arcadia dog set on fire improving, could be released early

    Tuesday, April 1 2014 11:26 PM EDT2014-04-02 03:26:55 GMT
    "Hope" was doused with kerosene and set on fire. BluePearl Veterinary photo"Hope" was doused with kerosene and set on fire. BluePearl Veterinary photo
    A 1-year-old DeSoto County dog that was set on fire is improving and could be released from 24-hour care to a primary care veterinarian next week.
    A 1-year-old DeSoto County dog that was set on fire is improving and could be released from 24-hour care to a primary care veterinarian next week.
  • Restaurant Ratings: Most Violations April 7-13

    Restaurant Ratings: Most Violations April 7-13

    Saturday, April 19 2014 6:47 AM EDT2014-04-19 10:47:28 GMT
    We’ve gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from April 7 to 13, 2014.
    We’ve gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from April 7 to 13, 2014.
  • Gainesville authorities investigate arrest of UF football player

    Gainesville authorities investigate arrest of UF football player

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:55 AM EDT2014-04-19 15:55:51 GMT
    Authorities in Gainesville say Purifoy was arrested last month on drug-related charges. Authorities in Gainesville say Purifoy was arrested last month on drug-related charges.
    The Gainesville Police Department has launched an internal investigation into the quashing of an arrest warrant for a former University of Florida football star and current NFL draft prospect.The Gainesville Sun reports that Loucheiz Purifoy was allegedly caught by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office last month in possession of both marijuana and bath salts.
    The Gainesville Police Department has launched an internal investigation into the quashing of an arrest warrant for a former University of Florida football star and current NFL draft prospect.The Gainesville Sun reports that Loucheiz Purifoy was allegedly caught by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office last month in possession of both marijuana and bath salts.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.