Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

Red flags and boat buying scams to look out for

by BoatUS on 17 Jun 2014
The summer buying season is when most boats are sold in the US, and Boat Owners Association of The United States has some tips for both buyers and sellers on how to avoid being targets of scams. . .
It’s summer boating season and some boat buyers and sellers are getting ripped off, say’s Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). The national boater advocacy, safety and services group outlined the top boat selling scams reported to its Consumer Protection Bureau and offers some ways to greatly improve your chance of a smooth sale or purchase – and when to walk away.

Getting a cashier’s check or money for more than asking price: Anytime a buyer offers to pay more for the asking price of the boat you’re selling – run away. Today, it’s easy for criminals to print counterfeit bank checks, and by the time your bank figures out the loss, the bad guys are far away, and you will be liable for the lost funds. Always contact the financial institution on which the check was drawn to verify the account, but don’t dial the phone number printed on the check, if possible. The amount of the bank check should also match in numerals and words, and the account number should not be shiny in appearance. Official checks are generally perforated on at least one side.

A twist on the same for the electronic age: Recently PayPal has become a target for scammers. A phony buyer again asks to send substantially more than the asking price. Later, you get a fake confirmation email from PayPal with your user ID for more than the agreed purchase price – with instructions from the buyer advising you to send the extra money to a shipper. The scam can seem even more legit – if you refuse, you may receive additional fake email notices from PayPal threatening to close your account if you don’t transfer the extra money as per your 'agreement.'

An escrow service scam: A bogus seller advertises a boat on a website at a low, but not scam-worthy price. When the scammer finds a buyer, they will tell them to use a legitimate sounding yet fictitious escrow service, like GoogleMoney.com. But once the funds are transferred, you’ll never hear from the seller again. It’s wise to use an escrow service for a long-distance purchase, but be very cautious with escrow services you’re not familiar with, and go with established providers such as eBay’s Escrow.com.

Email red flags that mean you may be taken for a ride: Poor grammar, spelling and language use; no phone number for the buyer/seller; generic references (ex. 'merchandise') to the boat being sold; changing names and locations in emails; a buyer who shows no interest in haggling over price or seeing the boat firsthand; a buyer or seller who has no interest in discussing titling or verifying the boat’s Hull Identification Number (HIN).

For a free buying and selling guide for boaters, go to www.BoatUS.com/consumer.
Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Mackay BoatsBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

When whales meet sails
CAMPER helmsman Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermudez found himself nearly face to face with whale in middle of North Atlantic Ocean. Currently the database for marine mammal strikes is very sparse. We are requesting sailors and boaters help to submit information on current and past incidents, however long ago that may be. By giving a location, date, identification if possible, and any other relevant information you can help scientists better understand where marine mammals are at risk for strikes
Posted on 8 Jan
Hyde Sails extends partnership with Clipper Round the World Yacht Race
We are pleased to announce Hyde Sails is returning for the fifth consecutive edition as Official Sail Partner We are pleased to announce Hyde Sails is returning for the fifth consecutive edition as Official Sail Partner
Posted on 5 Jan
New 2017-2020 World Sailing Rules Racing Signals sticker just printed
Sticker cannot show all the rules' details thus the wording is brief help only and refers to the official rules' numbers The sticker cannot show all the rules' comprehensive details, thus the wording is brief help only and refers to the official rules' numbers. The official World Sailing Rules book was published in September. I believe it is the ONLY sticker that shows all the signals.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
TowBoatUS comes to the Caribbean
Capt. Robert Manley has opened TowBoatUS St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). Capt. Robert Manley, a New Jersey native who has been running marine businesses in the Caribbean for the last 25 years, has opened TowBoatUS St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). “I’ve been towing boats and helping boaters ever since I came to St. Thomas,” he said. “The only real difference now is that I am working with BoatUS, which has great member benefits.”
Posted on 21 Dec 2016
From PLC to ZHIK- Crowie's transition from the multinationals
We spoke to Zhik's CEO David Crow, known as Crowie, who works alongside the founder and former-CEO, Brian Conolly. We spoke to Zhik's CEO David Crow, known as Crowie, who came into the company from a corporate background and now works alongside the founder and former-CEO, Brian Conolly.
Posted on 12 Dec 2016
Great Barrier Reef managers and industry prepare for summer
Marine park managers, scientists and experts recently met for the annual pre-summer workshop Marine park managers, scientists and experts recently met for the annual pre-summer workshop to assess climate-related risks to the Great Barrier Reef over the coming months. Current predictions by the Bureau of Meteorology and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are for a summer of average sea temperatures across the Great Barrier Reef.
Posted on 7 Dec 2016
Speed Thrills. Pain Kills. Minimise potential damage with Kollition™
We all love seeing the foilers get faster and faster. We all love seeing the foilers get faster and faster. One brand, Zhik®, was the first to develop a range of lightweight, low profile, flexible and waterproof padding in a purpose built wetsuit to help protect the sailors from damage when they or boat stops abruptly.
Posted on 7 Dec 2016
Figaro Bénéteau 3 – The world’s first production foiling monohull
In 2019, as the Solitaire URGO celebrates 50th anniversary, the Figaro Bénéteau 3 will take over from its predecessor In 2019, as the Solitaire URGO– Le Figaro celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, the Figaro Bénéteau 3 will take over from its illustrious predecessor, the Figaro Bénéteau 2, which has been sailing the length and breadth of the French and Atlantic coasts since 2003.
Posted on 6 Dec 2016
The Bridge – The Queen Mary – Essence of historical transatlantic race
The Bridge has invited the Queen Mary 2 to take part in an ocean challenge in a race against a fleet of giant trimarans On 2nd December, the press conference for the official launch of The Bridge was held in the prestigious setting of the Salle Turenne at the Hôtel des Invalides. The Bridge, a unique, festive, maritime, cultural and popular event, will take place from June 15th until the beginning of July 2017, in Nantes, Saint-Nazaire and New York.
Posted on 3 Dec 2016
Mark Light appointed Race Director of Clipper Round the World Race
Mark replaces former Race Director Justin Taylor who decided to stand down after almost a decade with the company. With four years’ experience assisting the race planning, he is now looking forward to stepping up to the lead role, one of the most challenging that exists in global sailing.
Posted on 28 Nov 2016