8 On Your Side

Movie money used to lure robbery victims in Tampa Bay

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) - Here's an 8 On Your Side warning for consumers: beware of thieves on the app LetGo.  

Scammers are using the app and movie money to lure potential victims in the Tampa Bay area.

When Julian Figueroa agreed to sell his iPhone on LetGo last month, he didn't know that an underage crook was about to scam him.

Figueroa met the minor at an apartment complex on Kings Highway in Clearwater on Feb. 25 around 8 p.m.

 "When he came out he had $700," Figueroa said.  

But the money was not real.  Figueroa said it felt like copy paper.

"As soon as I touched it, I could feel that the texture wasn't the texture of money,” he said. "I told him, I was like hey, like he had already started walking off, and I said hey the money's fake and after that he took off running and after that I called the police." 

Clearwater police said the same suspect scammed another victim on March 8.  Investigators said he targeted a teen who was selling his play station on LetGo.  The young thief gave the victim $300 of movie money and took off.  He was arrested after the victim contacted authorities who set the teem up with a fake sell.  

Movie money has been circulating in the Bay area for some time.  

"It looks really real, but if you look closely at it, there are key phrases on it that tell you it's not real money,” said Rob Shaw with the Clearwater Police Department.

Authorities advise making transactions in public places, preferably at a police station.

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