Victoria police is warning people selling cars privately to be vigilant after a man tried to steal a used car by presenting a fraudulent bank draft.

In response to an online ad for a vehicle on sale, the suspect showed up at the victim’s home on October 13th with what looked like a valid bank-issued draft, police said.

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The buyer indicated to the seller that he was in a rush and wanted to complete the transaction quickly.

He handed the seller an envelope containing completed transfer papers and the full asking price for her vehicle, with “payment” in the form of a bank draft.

The seller then reviewed all the documents.

“Unbeknownst to the ‘buyer’, the seller has experience in the financial services sector and works with bank drafts. She immediately saw that the “bank draft” was a photocopied fake,” police said the in the release.

The woman returned to her vehicle to find that the suspect had already zap strapped new license plates to the vehicle.

When she confronted the man, he apologized, cut the plates from the vehicle and fled the scene.

The suspect is described as as slim 40-year-old Caucasian man with a tanned complexion, standing 5′ 7″ tall. He had short black hair, wore glasses and smelled strongly of cigarette smoke.

Anyone who has information on the suspect or has been victimized by him is asked to call the VicPD non-emergency line at (250) 995-7654 or Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.