Facebook fraudster tricked man out of cash for quad bike

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A HAPLESS fraudster who ripped off an unsuspecting victim after advertising a quad bike for sale on Facebook, was traced via his bank account.

Ryan Bell, 21, put an advert on the social networking site claiming to have a 50cc mini-moto quad bike for sale for £150, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Prosecutor John McGlone said a Houghton man contacted him via private message in May and said he wanted to buy the vehicle for his daughter.

“He agreed to pay a £50 deposit and the rest on delivery,” Mr McGlone said.

“He transferred the money to Mr Bell’s bank account and he agreed to go round to his home address the next day with bike.”

The victim waited in, but Bell never arrived. He then found that Bell had blocked him, preventing him from sending further messages.

Police were called and Bell was soon found to be the owner of the bank account. He was arrested and taken to Southwick police station.

Bell, who has moved away from the Sunderland area and now lives at Woodside, Witton Park, Bishop Auckland, admitted fraud by false representation.

Kate Duncan, defending, said: “The facts speak for themselves. He has made full admissions.”

She added that Bell works part-time in the Card Factory shop in Durham and is subject to a deferred sentence at Durham Crown Court, for theft of a motor vehicle.

District Judge Roger Elsey said: “This was an extremely foolish offence because it was always going to be traced back to you.”

Bell was fined £100 and told to pay £50 compensation and £50 costs.