Crystal Rivers, with Bambi, has not been paid for a $700 ride-on-mower. Picture: Evan Morgan
Crystal Rivers, with Bambi, has not been paid for a $700 ride-on-mower. Picture: Evan Morgan

Crook scams battler out of $700 mower

A TOWNSVILLE pensioner who was scammed after selling a ride-on mower to a man claiming to be from the ADF believes her trust in people will never be the same.

Crystal Rivers, 65, of Kelso, placed an advertisement on Facebook's Marketplace recently, asking for $700 for the ride-on mower, and found an eager customer who called Ms Rivers on a private number.

The man met Ms Rivers at her home on October 30 to buy the mower, dressed in what Ms Rivers said was an army uniform.

He was a young man aged about 30, caucasian with short black hair, about 162cm tall and driving a four-wheel drive.

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Instead of turning up with cash, the man asked for Ms Rivers's bank details, which Ms Rivers gave to him - but not before insisting the payment be made then, and that the customer provide Ms Rivers a screenshot of the payment.

The pensioner helped the man dissemble parts of the mower, because the man didn't know how, and helped lift the mower into the man's vehicle.

The man insisted the payment for the mower had gone through and would appear in Ms Rivers's account in about two days, and said he could not provide a screenshot because his phone was not working properly.

"I haven't seen the money; I check my bank every day and it's not there," an emotional Ms Rivers said.

"I rang my bank, and they said for Defence Bank it shouldn't take more than two days for a payment to come through.

"When he was at my house the man said 'it's left my bank account, it should be there in the next couple of days'.

"I didn't get his name. He said he was with the ADF and I asked him was he with the navy or army and he said he was with the army, at Lavarack Barracks.

"I helped him dismantle the mower; I helped remove the steering wheel and put it into his car."

Ms Rivers, who has lived by herself for 16 years, went to a local police station but was told there was little police could do.

She has explained her situation on social media, and has received some backlash from commentators.

"I feel so stupid," Ms Rivers said. "I want to trust people and help people, it's who I am. I've helped people on the street and given my time to helping people in need.

"It just feels so awful to be taken advantage of. I'll never see that money again, $700 is a lot of money for me. I'm struggling for every cent that I've got, and Christmas is coming up. I've spent so much time helping people, and for this to happen to me is like a kick in the guts."

Originally published as Crook scams battler out of $700 mower


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