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Victims speak out, want justice for alleged scam artist

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Updated: 6/28/2013 5:41 pm

HILLIARD, Fla. -- Neighbors are banding together, after saying they were scammed in their own homes. Those victims are speaking out, warning others about a man they thought they could trust. Action News has learned that the suspect behind all this, is out on bond.

"He needs to pay for what he's done," said Jimmie Geiger.

Neighbors say 41-year-old Anthony Gerhold of Jacksonville was so kind and professional, they never would have thought he was a con artist.

"The nicest guy you could ever meet. I'm talking about just personable," said Lillis Cunningham, a victim of a scam.

"Everything seemed so legitimate. I never thought that I'd be the victim of a scam, but this guy was good," said Geiger.

Lillis Cunningham and Jimmie Geiger are neighbors, but neither one knew each other was scammed until it was too late.

"They were having a promotion going on, saying if we paid a year in advance, that we would have three months free," said Cunningham.

"He supposedly was paying our Dish payments every month with a credit card and of course that credit card bounced," recalled Geiger.

Cunningham tells Action News she wrote him a check for more than $700, and says weeks later Gerhold came back asking for another check, but she refused.

"The next day, this thing comes up on my TV that I had not paid my payments," said Cunningham.

Geiger says $800 was deducted from her account, and after several bounced credit card payments, her service was terminated.

"I felt so violated. I thought, 'gee, how could I let this happen to me," said Geiger.

Police say Gerhold was targeting elderly people. The alleged con artist told officers there could be more than 45 victims, and now investigators are hoping the others come forward.

Action News found out Gerhold allegedly tried this scam in Alachua and Columbia counties too. While he was awaiting a court appearance in Columbia County, Sheriff Bill Leeper says he was knocking on Nassau County doors. That's when the sheriff says they caught him.

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