Basalt resident scammed while selling ATV |

Basalt resident scammed while selling ATV

BASALT – Grifters came up with a couple of a creative scams to run on Basalt residents last week and batted .500, according to Basalt police.

In both cases, the victims were attempting Internet sales. One man advertised an all-terrain vehicle for sale for $6,800. He was contacted by an interested buyer from London. They agreed to a price on Halloween, and a cashier’s check drawn on a London bank arrived in Basalt on Nov. 9.

The Basalt resident cashed the check for $9,650 at Alpine Bank, according to the police report. The following day, the alleged buyer said he made an alternative arrangement for shipping and asked for a refund of more than $2,000 to cover the cost, according to the report. The seller obliged by wiring the money via Western Union.

On Nov. 11, the London buyer said he encountered some type of government red tape that wouldn’t make the purchase possible. He asked for a refund of $6,000. The seller sent the money back in two transactions via Western Union, the police report said.

The buyer, in a faux act of generosity, told the seller to keep the remaining $800 “for his troubles,” according to Police Chief Keith Ikeda. The alleged act of kindness turned sour the next day. Alpine Bank informed the victim on Nov. 12 that the cashier’s check was a forged instrument and that he was responsible for returning the dollar amount, Ikeda said.

There was no word on whether or not the ATV remains for sale.

The second target of a scam advertised his computer repair skills on Craigslist. He was contacted by an alleged customer who wanted an estimate on repairing eight computers. The following day, the Basalt repairman received a cashier’s check from a New York bank for considerably more than his bid. He was contacted by the alleged customer, who said an amount triple the bid had mistakenly been sent. The party asked for a refund of the extra amount. The repairman smelled a scam and reported the incident, Ikeda said. The check didn’t clear.

Ikeda said Internet scams are common. Sellers of products or services should speak to a bank officer about cashing a check and make sure ample time is given for the check to clear before spending any funds or offering any refunds, he said.

In other Basalt police news, a witness reported a burglary at Darwin’s restaurant next to Movieland. Three “kids” left Movieland after a show ended at 12:20 a.m. on Nov. 14, and one entered an open window at the restaurant, according to the witness. Six to eight bottles of liquor were passed through the window, and the youngsters fled in the direction of Sopris Village. The case is under investigation.

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