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Classified ad scams and shams

Phil Herring

Dethroned Admin
Mar 25, 1997
Hunter 450 Bainbridge Island
If you've ever sold a boat -- or anything of value -- in a classified ad, you've undoubtedly met some folks who wish to separate you from your money. They claim to be ministers, deposed royalty, probate attorneys, government officials, even titled Brits.

They have many schemes to do so, ranging from downright clever to shockingly stupid.

How have you handled those interactions? Did you come close to getting swindled, or come closer to getting even?

Tell us your best classified ad scam stories; extra credit for scams involving boats!

Oct 24, 2010
Hunter 30 Everett, WA
Sadly enough these seem to find people who fall for them.
I suspect most folks wouldn't but there are people with cognitive issues as well.
Last time I sold a boat someone immediately offered me more than my asking price with no questions about the boat.
Naturally, I ignored them.

Jul 7, 2004
Hunter 30T Cheney, KS
Alison on Sailing Texas classifieds warn everyone who posts to be aware of scams. I sold my MacGregor there. Just deleted the suspicious emails

Jan 7, 2011
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I had my old boat for sale and I got a call from someone wanting to ship it to the east coast (I am on Lake Michigan)...and they would pay for the shipping...

Sounded really fishy, so I said, sure, send me a check....

A few days later, I got a check in the mail for the price of the boat and an extra $30K or so....

Check was a fraud. I contacted the person whose name was on the check...they had been the victim of Identity Fraud, had closed the account, but someone was still writing checks on the account. We sent the check to the FBI.

But on an other occasion, I was building a new garage and paid the contractor a decent deposit...and he never showed up again...later filed for bankruptcy and never saw my $$ again. Guys like that deserve a special place in hell.



Jun 4, 2009
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
When I have the time and a decent internet connection sometimes I will string these guys along for as long as they will go for it, especially the ones who want to move money through my bank accounts. I just love wasting their time, playing along.
I've gotten a few to go three weeks or more by playing elderly and a bit senile, but with plenty of money in the bank.