TAMPA, Fla. — Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies are searching for two men they say are preying on elderly women and stealing their money.
Deputies say that the two men don't use weapons or any kind of threat, they simply approach unsuspecting victims and say something that makes these elderly women hand over cash. They are known as confidence schemes.
Deputies say that the victims are 88 and 74 years old.
The two men deputies are looking for were caught on surveillance cameras Tuesday when they were coning an 88-year-old woman out of her money. Deputies say that around 12:15 p.m., the two men began talking to the woman at a bus stop on West Waters Avenue.
The distracted woman missed her bus, but the men offered her a ride home.
Then, using some story about trying to collect lottery winnings, deputies say they convinced her to withdraw money from a Bank of America ATM on Hillsborough Ave.
“Whatever it is that they told her, they were convincing enough to make someone who’s been around the block once or twice secure enough to get in a car with complete strangers,” said Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Danny Alvarez.
From the bank, the men allegedly took the victim to a Dollar Tree store. When the woman went inside to buy something for them, the guys took off in a maroon Nissan Rouge.
Investigators say a similar theft happened on February 16 when perhaps the same guys approached a 74-year-old loading groceries at a Publix.
The men seen in the images are both described by deputies as Hispanic, one in his 50’s, the other mid-30’s with a Puerto Rican accent.
“These are slick talkers. These are people that have gained other peoples confidence. I’m sure they would do it again. If we weren’t looking for them,” said Alvarez.
Crime Stoppers is now offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of the two guys.
We are told the women while unhurt, are a little bit embarrassed about falling for a con.