Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough deputies seek couple they say defrauded elderly

BRANDON — The scam seems as cruel as it is simple.

A couple find an elderly person and convinces the person that the couple won the lottery but need a down payment to cash in. After the older person hands over thousands of dollars to help, the couple split.

Hillsborough deputies say it happened at least five times in the past few months, and the victims lost between $1,200 and $9,000 apiece.

Deputies are asking for the public's help in identifying the man and woman behind the scheme. They released a surveillance photo Monday showing the woman after the most recent strike at a CVS store April 11.

She is described as between 22 and 29 years old, about 5 feet 3 and 140 pounds with a medium build, brown eyes and brown hair. The victims, ages 62 to 87, told deputies the woman said she was from Costa Rica.

Deputies describe her partner in crime as a man about 50 to 60 years old, 5 feet 5 to 6 feet tall and 180 pounds with a medium build, brown eyes, gray hair, a full brown beard and noticeably hairy arms.

The first known scam happened at 11:40 a.m. Oct. 29 at a Sun City Center Bank of America, 902 Pebble Beach Blvd. The suspects drove a late-model light blue van.

At 10:30 a.m. Dec. 8, deputies say, they struck again at the 1301 W Brandon Blvd. Denny's restaurant, leaving in a white four-door Nissan Armada.

Then it happened at 1 p.m. Feb. 8 at Wachovia Bank in Sun City Center, 8008 N Pebble Beach Blvd., with an older, four-door silver or dirty white sport utility vehicle.

And then again at 10:10 a.m. Feb. 18 at the Bank of America, 8320 Hanley Road, with a large white van. Finally, at 11 a.m. April 11, the couple hit at the CVS store at 7351 W Hillsborough Ave. and left in a silver newer-model Toyota Rav4.

Anyone with information is asked to call deputies at (813) 247-8200 or report anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), or by texting CSTB plus your tip to C-R-I-M-E-S (274637).

Hillsborough deputies seek couple they say defrauded elderly 04/18/11 [Last modified: Monday, April 18, 2011 10:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video: Loggerhead sea turtle found in Islamorada resident's pool


    An adult female loggerhead sea turtle, discovered in an oceanside residential pool in Islamorada on Monday, has been rescued and released off the Florida Keys.

    An adult female loggerhead sea turtle, discovered in an oceanside residential pool in Islamorada on June 22, 2017, has been rescued and released off the Florida Keys. [Photo from video]

  2. What Wilson Ramos will mean to the Rays lineup, pitching

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer was stumping for all-star votes for Corey Dickerson during a live interview Wednesday morning on the MLB Network when he lifted the right earpiece on his headset and said, "I hear a buffalo coming."

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos (40) waves to the crowd after being presented with the Silver Slugger Award before the start of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
  3. Deon Cain, Duke Dawson, Derrick Nnadi among SI's top 100 players


    Sports Illustrated's countdown of the top 100 players in college football continues with three more local players.

  4. She doesn't care if you accept her, as long as you respect her

    Human Interest

    Mary Jane Taylor finds strength walking quietly among the dead.

    Mary Jane Taylor,18, visits Oaklawn Cemetery in downtown Tampa when she is feeling low. "When I hit my low points in life I go the the graveyard," she says. "people are afraid of the graveyard. I love the graveyard." The transgender teen recently graduated from Jefferson High School. She is  enrolled in summer classes at Santa Fe College in Gainesville studying international business. She plans to transfer to the University of Florida, attend law school and become a civil rights lawyer. (JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |   Times)
  5. Few new details in state investigation of Tarpon Springs officer-involved shooting of Nick Provenza

    Public Safety

    TARPON SPRINGS — An investigative report, released this week by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, into the officer-involved shooting that killed 25-year-old Nick Provenza included largely the same narrative prosecutors released this month that ruled the shooting a "justifiable homicide."

    Stopping while riding by on his bike Michael Prater, 15, hangs his head after looking at the memorial at Safford and Tarpon avenues for Nick Provenza, a 25-year-old who was shot and killed there during a car show Saturday by a Tarpon Springs police officer. Investigators said Provenza pulled a knife on the cop who shot him. Friends find it hard to believe a man they described as a peaceful vegan and musician would be capable of such an act. Prater didn't know the victim but was at the car show.