The fake $50 notes passed off as payment by a couple who stole a Christchurch teenager’s electric scooter.
A Christchurch 18-year-old is “gutted” after a couple paid him $700 for his electric scooter in fake notes.
The teen’s mum, who does not want her son named because of potential embarrassment, said he listed his e-scooter on Facebook Marketplace a few days ago.
On Saturday night at around 10pm, a man got in touch over Facebook offering to buy it, and they agreed he could come over to pick it up.
“They messaged to say they were here, and didn’t come up to the door,” the mother said.
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“I didn’t really think it was that odd at the time.”
The teen helped a man and a woman load the Sonic-brand 600 watt scooter into a silver Holden sedan car, and the woman handed him a zip lock bag full of counterfeit $50 notes.
“He made a mistake by not counting it, but even if he did, in the dark he wouldn’t have seen they were all fake because they also feel quite real.”
She said her son realised what had happened once he got back inside, but by then it was too late.
The Facebook account used to contact him was deleted shortly after.
On Sunday the family reported the crime and handed the forged currency to police.
A police spokesperson said they are assessing the information provided to see what they can do.
The incident comes just weeks after counterfeit money came to light in Rangiora, and following reports of fake notes being passed off last year.
The mother of the Christchurch teenager said she was “a bit shocked” at what happened to her son.
“I can’t believe people would do that.”
“He’s only 18 years old, and he’s too trusting. Unfortunately, he’s had to learn this lesson the hard way, and he’s pretty disappointed in himself.”
How to spot a counterfeit note. (Video first published in 2019)
“My message would just be to really check any money handed over in these online sales, and count it.”
In June 2020, police urged the public to remain vigilant for counterfeit notes, after a spate of fake fifties were found across the South Island, from Christchurch to Oamaru.
A 31-year-old Timaru man was arrested in relation to the forgeries at the time, but police said it was unknown how many of the notes, largely $50 denominations, had made it into circulation.
In early January, a Canterbury punter was “shocked and annoyed,” after being paid out three counterfeit $100 notes at a Rangiora Harness Racing Club.
He was told by police at the time there was not much they could do.