MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Better Call Behnken investigation found a Manatee County man is a victim of counterfeit tag fraud.
Dallas Slettvet carries his construction tools in a trailer. He got a temporary tag for it in August, but he never even used it, since he got a permanent once and decided to put the temporary tag in his desk drawer.
So, imagine his shock when toll violations showed up in the mail. Someone else was using his temporary tag number and driving through toll stations in Tampa Bay and in Miami.
Slettvet reported the situation to authorities, but he says no one would listen.
“I’m at my wit’s end,” Slettvet said. “I don’t know what to say to these people to get them to understand it’s not me.”
He called the number on his violations, but when they couldn’t help him, he went a step further.
“I went to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department and asked them what could be done, and basically they said nothing,” he said. “So I went right across the street and asked them what’s going on and why this is still my responsibility and they said once you have a tag, it is permanently affixed to your name.”
Slettvet’s tag was assigned to his trailer, but a car is racking up the tolls. His violations show a Nissan Altima going through various toll stations.
“One time, it could have been a mistake,” Slettvet said. “But three times is not a mistake.”
“They’re going to suspend all my registrations is what they told me they were going to do, all of the registrations in my name,” Slettvet said, noting that would hurt his business because he uses his trailer and truck for work.
The tolls were for about $11.75 combined, but Slettvet said it wasn’t about the money. He doesn’t want someone else pretending to be him. He feared someone could even use a car with his tag in a crime.
After calls from Better Call Behnken, a spokeswoman for Florida’s Turnpike said Selttvet is off the hook. They are still investigating but believe his temporary tag number was turned into a counterfeit tag. He won’t have to pay these tolls, and the tag has been flagged in the state’s computer system.