BY BILL DEMAREST
NANUET – Clarskstown detectives are trying to find a man who pulled off a $19,000 bait-and-switch scam in Nanuet, passing off fake coins to a man who thought he was buying valuable Maple Leaf gold coins.
The scam took place on June 2 in Nanuet and police said the suspected con man was also spotted the same day in Spring Valley trying to run the same scam.
The wanted man is described as:
– A male black in his late 20s to mid 30s
– 6-foot-tall, 250 to 300 pounds with a black beard
– He was wearing a black baseball hat, black shirt, black pants and Prada Aviator glasses with yellow tint
– In Spring Valley, he was seen leaving the area as a passenger,in a black BMW, possibly a Series 5.
Police said the suspected con man met his Nanuet victim through a Craigs List posting made by the victim, who was seeking to purchase gold or other valuable coins. The con man, who called himself John, agreed to meet the victim at a local coin shop to verify the validity of the coins he had for sale.
After seeing that the coins were legitimate, the victim returned to his auto, where “John” was waiting. The victim and offered “John” $19,000 for the coins, but “John”began acting nervous and restless and took the coins, which were in a pouch, back from the victim.
“John” placed the coins in his rear pants pocket. The victim pleaded with “John” to make the deal and after a brief conversation, “John” took the money and handed the victim what appeared to be the same pouch containing the coins.
As “John” left the victim’s car and walked away, the victim checked the coins and realized the coins in the bag that had been handed back to him were bogus.
Police ask that anyone with information about “John” call the Clarkstown Detective Bureau at 845-639-5840. Detectives are sharing images from a video that they believe shows the suspected con man in hopes that someone will recognize him and contact police.