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I have my boat for sale. I got an inquiry from an interested party. He’s an oceanographer at sea on special assignment and wants to buy the boat as a surprise gift for his family. He’d like to send someone to pick the boat up and pay with PayPal.

Obviously, this guy is a scam, but it made me wonder… Just how does one accept payment for a $12,500 boat? $12,500 is a lot of cash, but accepting a check seems dicey.

Any suggestions/war stories?
 

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Cash is great, but if you are a US citizen (or maybe if transaction occurs in the US), there is a CTR obligation. CTR = Currency Transaction Report, sort of like a W-2 or 1099, and applies to any transaction involving exchange of $10k or more in currency. Nothing illegal about a transaction including transfer of $10k+ in currency, but the U.S Gov't just wants to know about it. I think the person receiving the cash needs to complete a form for the IRS/Treasury Dept and give a copy to the payor. The Form going to the Gov't requires the name, address and social security #s of person paying and person receiving the cash. I think this started or started being enforced in the 1980s, to track / catch criminals (criminal organizations [drug cartels, organized crime, etc.]) attempting to launder ill-gotten gains.

If the offer is via Paypal, maybe check with Paypal about verifying the payor/ scam avoidance protection they might have? Another idea would be to check if eBay's "Vehicle Protection" includes sailboats. I think their protection covers up to $50k. There are probably requirements you would need to review to make sure your transaction is protected and there would be eBay's selling fee, but might be worth peace of mind for you.

Alternatives to cash would be certified bank check from a US bank, wire transfer from a US bank (check with your bank to review how much time it takes to verify confirmed / no chance of being a scam).

And of course there is the newer option of crypto-currency (Bitcoin, etc.), but I am not sure how scammable that could be. Some people have high confidence in the crypto-currencies, while others don't trust it, as there is no government oversight (Federal Reserve, SEC, etc.).

If a buyer is going to send someone else to accept delivery of the boat, maybe insist on the buyer providing a notarized Affidavit or Power Of Attorney, valid in the jurisdiction where the sale is going to take place. In any event, consider holding title/possession of the boat until funds are confirmed cleared. Good luck, be careful.
 

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Certified check and call the bank to confirm it's legitimacy, before turning over the keys. They are not hard to forge.
 

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2008 Jeanneau 39i S/V Grace
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Zelle works if you use B of A.
 

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Cold hard green cash, I took $42,000 in cash for a 67 Camaro, cash, cash, cash.
 

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If you deposit tens of thousand in cash into any bank it's going to trigger all sorts of enforcement alarm bells. I'm sure with the proper documentation it will all be fine, but still will require some additional hoops to jump.

Of course, you can always keep the cash under your bed, and spend it as need be. But that probably doesn't work for most of us.
 

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Wire transfer, ACH, any of the blockchain apps. Certified checks are too easy to forge and funds verification with the bank can be questionable. Financial reporting on large transactions isn't a big deal, unless your side gig involves tax evasion or money laundering. In that case, go with cash.
 

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funds verification with the bank can be questionable.
If the check is certified, the funds availability is guaranteed. You simply need to independently call the bank it was drawn on to verify it's legitimately certified.

I fully agree that large currency reporting is not an issue, unless the depositor is actually involved in something illicit. 16 million of the so called CTRs are filed annually in the US. I'd be more concerned with how well one could identify counterfeit currency mixed into a large jackpot.
 

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If the check is certified, the funds availability is guaranteed. You simply need to independently call the bank it was drawn on to verify it's legitimately certified.
Ways to perpetrate check fraud, including certified checks include using real account numbers at real banks. The bank may say the funds are available and the draft gets fraud stopped. Or the 'bank' isn't a bank, or the bank just doesn't answer those questions, or answer the phone as often as the check recipient (who isn't a bank customer) would like... Having spend some time dealing with that professionally, I wouldn't accept a certified check. If someone can certify a check, they can also wire funds.
 

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Wire transfer, ACH, or cash. If you take a personal check wait for it to clear. Fake bank checks and cashiers checks are one of the most common scams now. Don't touch them. Also I got one from a scammer, called the bank named on the check and they cited privacy and would not confirm the check nor the account to be valide.
 

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"Certified checks" can be made at home, in your spare time, with bank numbers that will fool everyone - for a few days. Actually a US Postal money order is absolutely dependable, as is cash, as is wire transfer. Other money orders can be easily forged (if you're a crook and invest in the stuff to do it) so just any generic money order can easily be fraud.
 

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Deposit check or wire transfer into Attorney's Client Trust Account. I do it all the time. Anything shaky, advise the Bank.
 

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I wouldn't do cash. There is a chance of getting pulled over by the cops and forfeiting the money via civilian asset forfeiture laws. Yea, the cop just takes the dough. Checks...NO, ACH, wire yes. We did a wire transfer when we bought our boat. Just make sure, like double sure you have the numbers right. I was tempted to transfer a dollar as a test.

OP, get back to us when the buyer says he sent you too much money and ask you to refund the difference in Wal Mart gift cards to be sent via Fed Ex overnight.
 
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