CBS 17 helps man scammed out of thousands get his money back


KNIGHTDALE, N.C. (WNCN) – CBS 17 was able to help an 83-year-old man get his money back after he fell prey to scammers.

Leroy Barnett was been able to get thousands of dollars returned thanks to CBS 17’s help after buying gift cards.

The gift cards were purchased at Food Lion in Knightdale and this afternoon the supermarket chain refunded $2,000 after CBS 17 intervened.

Criminals called Leroy Barnett back on December 9 telling him he needed to purchase gift cards after falling victim to a Social Security scam.

He lost $1,000 after giving the scammers the numbers of two Target gift cards he purchased.

But, after he purchased $2,000 worth of Best Buy gift cards at Food Lion, he was alerted to the scam and never gave the criminals the numbers of those cards.

But, when he tried to get the cash back from those active gift cards – he ran into trouble.

Food Lion said they couldn’t help and Best Buy said he had to get his refund from Food Lion.

Now, he’s got his money back after Consumer Investigator Steve Sbraccia contacted Food Lion corporate – which said it would research the issue.

“I can’t thank you enough,” said Barnett. “Without you I never would’ve got this back. “It’s been going on a long time. Until you came in, I was stuck.”

“I got my $2,000 back. They gave it to me in cash,” he said.

Barnett said he immediately deposited the money.

“I went to the bank to put it back where it belongs,” he said.

Food Lion spokesman Matt Harakal said when Sbraccia sent the copies of Barnetts receipts to them, they were able to track where the money was.

Harakal said a third-party firm called Blackhawk actually deals with gift cards and once Food Lion worked with Blackhawk, they were able to get Barnett his money.

The supermarket chain also gave Barnett $100 worth of gift cards from their store.

But, he says he most happy with his $2,000 refund because now, the elderly man on a fixed income can pay his bills.

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