A longtime Las Vegas dealer was targeted by a scammer who impersonated him and tried to sell about 40 acres of his land for nearly $900,000.
The land, 500 miles away in Colorado, was already under contract with a buyer by the time its actual owner, Jim Marsh, learned of the deal through a letter from a title company. Marsh, who has Stellantis and Kia stores in Las Vegas, managed to stop the fraudulent sale and hired a private investigator who tracked the scam to Nigeria, he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
"There are so many scams going on," said Marsh, 89. "You never think of yourself as being one of them."
The scammer used a fake Nevada driver's license with Marsh's name and birthdate, though the address was his daughter's house, and the photo on it wasn't him. And even after Marsh halted that sale, the scammer unsuccessfully tried to list the property again.
Marsh, who's been selling cars in Las Vegas since 1971, once planned to build an auto auction in Grand Junction, Colo., but the project never happened. He listed the property for $5 million in 2013 before taking it off the market the following year.
That made the scammer's asking price of $899,000 quite a bargain, and the listing even offered further price cuts. "Let's get creative!" it said. "Seller will consider a discount for cash."
The real estate agent who marketed the property told the Review-Journal that he had been contacted by someone with a Las Vegas area code, sounded about Marsh's age and had an email address that seemed legitimate. He had a buyer lined up in less than a week.