Police are hunting for a man they say has repeatedly cheated people out of expensive cars by pretending to transfer them money.
Adrian Edward Colbert, who reportedly goes under many aliases including Adrian Edward, is wanted by police and is alleged to have obtained an Auckland man's $25,000 race car by deception.
Police said Colbert "uses a doctored screen shot of a bank payment claiming he has put money in the victim's account".
Colbert is believed to have contacted numerous people seeking to buy expensive items like cars or electronics before tricking them into thinking he has paid them for it.
"He drives/leaves with the vehicle/phone, meaning there is a delay with them expecting to get the money and subsequently a delay in the victim reporting the matter to us when they realise they have been scammed," police said.
Kelly Flynn thought he was selling his prized 1998 Nissan Skyline R34 GT-T race car to Colbert on Saturday, but claims to have become his latest victim.
Mr Flynn said Colbert said all the right things, appeared very credible, provided his licence and passport, and gave a deposit of $1000 in cash before sending a Photoshopped screenshot to him which appeared to confirm a transfer had been made.
Mr Flynn handed over the keys and car and good faith, but began to suspect something wasn't right when the $20,000 never arrived by Monday morning.
His car was equipped with a GPS tracking unit, which he used to find the whereabouts of the vehicle, and found it had been driven from Auckland to Wellington and was sitting at an Air New Zealand freight yard.
Mr Flynn also believes that the vehicle was on-sold to another person in Bulls, because when he called the freight yard, he was put on to speak with a person who believed he had legally bought the car just a day before.
He called Colbert to confront him, but was hung up on. An hour and a half later, the GPS unit also stopped transmitting.
Mr Flynn's partner Rachel Norris has posted online about the incident, saying police have been notified of all the GPS movements, but that "but the situation has been complicated by the on-selling of the vehicle".
"This person clearly had no intention to behave honestly, rather had clear intent to steal this vehicle so he could on sell for profit," Ms Norris said.
Mr Flynn had owned the Skyline for about four and a half years, and had worked on it and modified it over time into a track-ready race car.
"It was my baby," he said.
The couple were selling the car in order to help them save money for a deposit for a home.
Police have been asked for an update.
Anyone with information can call Wellington Police on 04 381 2000, or information can be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.