Tampa, Florida -- Tampa Police are investigating a situation where a man pretended to be a officer in order to collect money over the phone.
Reportedly, the suspect called the victim and said his name was Lt Bell with the Tampa Violations Bureau. He told the victim that she had an outstanding red light citation and was being charged $498.00 and would be held in contempt of court if he did not pay the fine.
"Lt. Bell" told the victim that she ran a red light at Nebraska Avenue and Busch Boulevard in October. When the victim explained that she had not received anything in the mail, the caller became rude saying he didn't want to hear excuses. He told her the only way to avoid court was to put money on his green dot card; $262 for the red light fine and $236 for the contempt of court fine.
When the victim's husband took the phone and began to ask more questions, the suspect hung up.
The victim then called the TPD and found that no one named Lt. Bell worked in the department.
Furthermore, Tampa Police Department does not call drivers to collect any type of traffic fines including red light citations. If anyone has received a call of this nature, they are urged to call the Tampa Police Department at 813- 231-6130.
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