ALMOST “$19,000 out of pocket”, Southland woman Dianne Pearsey says her biggest fear is someone else is caught out by the same elaborate scam which almost trapped her.
Earlier this month, Mrs Pearsey began the process of buying an almost $19,000 motorhome after seeing it advertised in a newspaper.
Thanks to her son and daughter-in-law, it was soon discovered the sale was far from legitimate.
“If I’d gone ahead and battled through all of this myself, I would’ve been close to $19,000 out of pocket.”
Mrs Pearsey and her husband were renovating their own motorhome and had planned to take it across New Zealand.
After her husband died in July, she saw the motorhome advertised and made plans to do the trip herself, she said.
“The price was ridiculously cheap but you come across a bargain every now and then, once-in-a-lifetime maybe.”
Son Shane Pearsey said he could tell in his mother’s voice she was “ecstatic” when she told him about the vehicle.
“For her it was like, I’m going to have this bus, by next week I can go and do all the stuff we [her and her husband] talked about doing together, tripping all around the show.”
With a clear picture, registration number, contact details listed, and certificates and photos provided on request – he and his wife Vic contacted the seller.
However, when they received a reply from a different email under another name, they began to grow suspicious.
“I didn’t think too much of it at first, but then they asked for the money to be paid into an overseas account.
“When they sort of started rushing things, that’s when we started to become a little bit suss,” Mr Pearsey said.
He began to receive calls at his home address from the seller, who constantly pressured him to transfer the money.
“The next time he emailed asking for the money I decided to play along with it.”
Mr Pearsey then told the seller he was on his way to view the vehicle.
The seller replied aggressively and called the deal off, he said.
A few days later, Dianne filed a report with police.
A police spokeswoman said police were still conducting inquiries in relation to the report.
“Buyers should always take precautions, particularly when buying large items such as vehicles.”