Beware of this scam when selling - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 3 Old 05-17-2004 Thread Starter
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Beware of this scam when selling

In trying to sell my current boat, I came across this scam:

A supposed broker or similar agency contacts you about your boat and says they have a very motivated buyer who wants to purchase the boat immediately. They are willing to pay with a certified banker''s check. A banker''s check of course is one of the most secure checks you can get. Sounds good. They may even furnish you with a number and address.

The catch is that they want to write you a check which includes the price of the boat and something else such as tranportation cost which they want you to pay directly to the shipping company. They say you can wait until you receive their banker''s check first. It doesn''t sound too bad, a banker''s check is usually a very safe form of payment, paying the tranport company is small change and not to big a hassle compared to selling your boat and it''s difficult for somebody to sneak off with your boat without you knowing about it.

I''ve talked to a friend of mine in the insurance company and he has confirmed this sort of scam. Both the broker and transportation company (or what ever the other company is) are dummy companies complete with a voicemail or even real phone. The checks are fake, but before these clear or bounce you have paid the second dummy company out of pocket and that''s your loss.

It''s easy to tell this scam, because the second you refuse to pay for anything out of pocket or insist on waiting until the check clears, they will disappear.

- Beware.......
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post #2 of 3 Old 05-17-2004
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Beware of this scam when selling

I was selling something (not my boat) online and was offered more than the amount I was asking. The prospective buyer offered to pay more with a certified bank check, as long as I would send most of it (as a certified bank check from my bank) to a friend he owed it to.

I told him, "I would only accept a certified check, and I''d wait till it cleared. Once it cleared, the only thing he''d get from me would be the item. Nothing more - nothing less." I never heard from him again.

This medium has made it necessary to modify the old saying, "Buyer Beware" to "Buyer and Seller Beware". :^(

~ Happy sails to you ~ _/) ~
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post #3 of 3 Old 05-18-2004
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Beware of this scam when selling

I am a banker and we deal with fraudulent certified bank checks every day. Whenever you accept payment for something, especially when you do not know the buyer, make sure you allow ample time for the item to clear your account. It is also a very good precaution to simply call the bank who is issuing the check to verify. They should be able to tell you fairly quickly whether or not it is actually drawn on them. Also beware of accepting wired funds as you will need to disclose account numbers and Fed routing numbers, which you should really not do, unless you are dealing with a reputable firm or individual.
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