Boat Seller's Beware - Scam Alert (2024)

S

Steve-in-VA

.
Aug 19, 2019
11

Hunter

19 (93-96)

Ware Neck, VA

Feb 16, 2024

  • #1

I have a boat listed on the SailboatOwners classifieds. I was contacted by someone who said they had seen the boat on SBO and were interested in the boat but wanted a history report from inspectzone.com/boat-superior before visiting. My bank declined the charge to the website. On checking the site seems to be a scam to charge you $63. When I recommended a boat history site I knew was legitimate, he recommended another website, procarfax.com/boat-pricing. When I checked, this site has only been online for 4 months and again is a scam.
Seller beware.

  • Boat Seller's Beware - Scam Alert (1)
  • Boat Seller's Beware - Scam Alert (2)
  • Boat Seller's Beware - Scam Alert (3)

Likes:

Captain Larry-DH, MitchM, Dalliance and 4 others

D

dlochner

.
Jan 11, 2014
11,722

Sabre

362

113

Fair Haven, NY

Feb 16, 2024

  • #2

Glad your bank was on top of this!

In general when selling a boat, it is the buyer who is responsible for any title searches, surveys, etc. It is fair to provide them with the HIN so the buyer can do and pay for his own searches.

If you have doubt about the legitimacy of a website, just search "Who is sitename". Here's what I found:

Boat Seller's Beware - Scam Alert (4)

ScamAdviser.com | Check a website for risk | Check if fraudulent | Website trust reviews |Check website is fake or a scam

Check if a website is a scam website or a legit website. ScamAdviser helps identify if a webshop is fraudulent or infected with malware, or conducts phishing, fraud, scam and spam activities. Use our free trust and site review checker.

Boat Seller's Beware - Scam Alert (5)www.scamadviser.com


  • Boat Seller's Beware - Scam Alert (8)

Likes:

Captain Larry-DH and MitchM

D

Dave

Forum Admin, Gen II

Staff member

Feb 1, 2023
71

Feb 16, 2024

  • #3

I edited the thread's title because it was misleading. The information in the OP's post is good to know, however the title could have been interpreted to imply that the scam was the result of something SBO had done or was somehow responsible. SBO is not in any way associated with or responsible for fraudulent inquiries to classified ads. If the scammers are targeting SBO ads, it is quite likely they are targeting Craigslist, eBay, and all the other auto and boat classified ad sites.

When selling a boat on SBO or any other site, the seller is not obligated to provide any kind of professional (or scam professional) survey or report, that is the buyer's responsibility. It is fair to send additional photos and to answer questions truthfully. But you should never be asked to pay for a survey or a "title search."

  • Boat Seller's Beware - Scam Alert (9)
  • Boat Seller's Beware - Scam Alert (10)

Likes:

Captain Larry-DH, Roland5048, jon hansen and 5 others

M

MitchM

.
Jan 20, 2005
1,023

Nauticat 321

pilothouse 32

Erie PA

Mar 2, 2024

  • #4

When I sold a boat via on line ads in 2005, I received several inquiry emails from a ‘buyer’ and then a final email offering ‘Full cash plus a $5,000 extra hauling fee ‘ . it was to be paid via a cashiers check drawn on ‘ Maryland state teachers credit union ‘. (Curiously , the several inquiry emails were each sent in the wee morning hours for my time zone. ) The promised check did arrive by snail Mail at my home several days after Christmas, mailed from n y c. The check was watermarked and looked very official. the Sender had given me the phone and address of the ‘hauler’ to whom the extra 5k should be sent by me for ‘ haul away ‘ of the boat . I used my beenverified.com subscription to pull up sender name , address , criminal records and phone numbers. I was quite sure it was a scam , and very amused by this time . the check was dated dec. 24, Christmas eve. (no teacher credit union in the US is open to disburse checks on Christmas eve. ) The boat ‘delivery address ‘ was a slum house in the Bronx, not a working boatyard. (The owner of the phone shall remain Nameless — but beenverified was advising me of criminal convictions on his record.) meanwhile — the boat was on the hard under winter cover, on its cradle at a marina closed til May , with no travel lift even available til then . I took the check to my bank and asked them to call the credit union. The credit union advised the bank they had suffered a burglary and a whole set of blank official watermarked credit union checks had ben stolen . the Bank was able to provide law enforcement in MD With the check And details of its transmission to me. meanwhile , I told the scammer to go to a western union store in ny c on a certain date … ‘To await the money from me. ‘ ( which of course I never sent. ) . . . It is fortunate that these scammers are so outrageously uninformed about boats. PS —since I had lost no money , neither my local city police nor the FBI internet crime dept. was interested In the crook I never found out if police in MD prosecuted the scammer . . The boat was sold to the 1st couple who looked at it .

Tally Ho

.
Jan 7, 2011
4,915

Oday

322

East Chicago, IN

Mar 2, 2024

  • #5

I also had an offer like that when I was selling my last boat…I responded to send me the check…not believing they would send anything. I was really surprised when a check showed up in my mailbox. There were clues that it was a fake (different fonts, etc.). I looked the name on the check, and reached out to that person. She called me back asking what account number was the check draw on….apparently she was a victim of account fraud a few years before…got the FBI involved, closed that account and opened a new one…and wanted to make sure that new account wasn’t compromised.

If it seems to good to be true… Boat Seller's Beware - Scam Alert (12)

Greg

M

MitchM

.
Jan 20, 2005
1,023

Nauticat 321

pilothouse 32

Erie PA

Mar 3, 2024

  • #6

I have received a few calls within the last 3 days from scammers wanting me to ‘pay them $29.95 ‘ for a boat listing ad ‘ that will ‘never expire’ . and one phone text inquiry from a guy in California —- Wanting me to accept his ‘ certified check’ for my boat ASAP, and pay its transport fee 3,000 Miles to LA. ‘ (my beenverified.com showed him to be a 39 yr old unemployed actor living in a walk up apartment . But of course, LA is a hotbed for catboat sailing, yes . ?. . ) so much chaff To winnow , before finding wheat.
By the way, there are scammers on craigslist who get you to provide lots of info and photos of your boat, or other expensive object . then they steal your info and post an ad with it hoping to steal the sales price from unsuspecting buyers . I d never provide a lot of info like a HIN until I verify the authenticity of the prospective buyer‘s interest and proposed terms of payment. Once that is done, I’d send a sales contract to be signed, and accept buyer’s bank to bank transfer , (not a check that might take 3 weeks to finally credit or be dishonored in to my Bank account.) a bank to bank wire can be verified very quickly by both parties. After the bank confirmations, then a title transfer can be done w proper notarization over the internet of paper work To complete the sale.

Last edited:

JamesG161

SBO Weather and Forecasting Forum Jim & John
Feb 14, 2014
7,587

Hunter

430

Waveland, MS

Mar 3, 2024

  • #7

O

Orbweaver

.
Apr 3, 2020
191

Hunter

23.5

Frenchtown, MT

Mar 3, 2024

  • #8

All I ever seem to get in response my boat ads are the scammers. Easy to spot if you know the clues. Big one that weeds them out right away is they ask, 'What's your final price' without really asking anything about the boat. I typically take my price and go 1.5x or 2x, tell them that's my final. Almost invariably they take the bait, then offer the extra 'for shipping and my troubles'. The last one sent me a pair of rubber cashier's checks for $16,500 on a boat that I have listed for $8K. UPS, you're welcome for the business in shipping those to me. Boat Seller's Beware - Scam Alert (15)

  • Boat Seller's Beware - Scam Alert (16)

Likes:

MitchM

kappykaplan

.
May 1, 2011
4,403

Pearson

37

Lusby MD

Mar 3, 2024

  • #9
  • Boat Seller's Beware - Scam Alert (20)

Likes:

JamesG161

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