North Central Florida man falls victim to TV scam

By on September 19th, 2012

A Marion County man lost hundreds of dollars after he put his trust in the wrong person.

Val Carnecchia paid a man who claimed to be a Sears employee $900 for discounted flat-screen television sets, but the deal turned out to be a scam. Authorities are now searching for the suspect.

“He knew quite a bit about me,” Carnecchia said. “He must’ve done some research about me because he knew who I was and my brother and where I worked previous and now, so it was pretty convincing.”

Marion County Sheriff's Office

Security cameras inside Sears caught footage of the man believed to be behind the television set scam.

Carnechhia was contacted several times by a man who claimed to know him from a previous job. The man told Carnecchia he was now working at Sears and could get him flat-screen television sets for $200 with a special employee discount. All Carnecchia had to do was buy five of them in cash.

The arrangement was scheduled to take place at the Sears where the man claimed to work. Carnecchia said he went along with the deal because everything seemed legitimate.

“He didn’t say I want to meet you on the side of the road,” Carnecchia said. “He said, ‘I’ll meet you right at Sears,’ and he actually walked out of Sears … walked right up to me, right out in the open.”

It was not until after the money had exchanged hands that Carnecchia discovered something was wrong. He attempted to track down the man, who had re-entered the store with the money, but was unable to do so.

“Even though it sounds great and you think you might know the person and even if you do, (people) still need to be careful,” Carnecchia said. “This day and age, everybody is trying to take advantage of you.”

Security cameras inside the store captured footage of the suspect. Marion County authorities released the image and have asked that anyone with information call 352-368-7867.

Emily Miller edited this story online.

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