Fraud Alert

Jun 29, 2010
1,265
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
So I am selling the chart plotter that came with my boat. I placed an ad here on SBO. A day later I got a text message from a perspective buyer. The texts seemed fine until they talked about the payment. They had a "client" that owed them money and they were going to send me a check. Red flag going up. I went along cause, well who knows right? I got more suspicious when I asked at the end of the conversation who I was dealing with and who the shipper was going to be. They replied "Thanks you, I will inform you when the check funds clear." So red flag again.

I talked to @Jackdaw about it over our usual beer night and he chuckled and said it sounded like a scam. He also told me to contact my bank about what my protection level was. I planned to do that once I got the check. Well today an envelope showed up with a cancellation of the stamp in Honolulu. I Googled the phone number that the texts were coming from and that came up Augusta Georgia. Yeah this is getting about as stinky as it can get.

I then looked up the bank the check was supposedly drawn on and wouldn't ya know it, that check number does not exists. Surprise, surprise. What really said "THIS IS FRAUD" was that the check was for $1998.89 and I was only asking $300 for the chart plotter. They instructed me to scan both sides of the check and the envelope and email it to them. They also said to take the envelope and check to my local post office and file a complaint. Wonder how many federal and state laws have been broken here.

So, as with all ads and internet transactions, be very aware of who you are dealing with and know your protection level in this sort of situation.
 
Jan 7, 2011
3,043
Oday 322 East Chicago, IN
I had someone contact me about a boat I was selling. They actualLy called me, and offered to send a check for $20k more than I was asking to arrange for transportation of the boat to the east coast. I told them sure, send the check...I was really surprised when I got a check in the mail a week later for $48,500 (the asking price of the boat plus the $20k transportation fee).

Googled the name on the check, reached out to them and found out that their account had been hacked a year earlier. They asked for the check and the envelope to give to the FBI.

If it seems to good to be true....

Of course I can't keep my father-in-law from sending money to some internet guys who "will fix his computer" over the internet.

Greg
 
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Aug 3, 2012
2,542
Performance Cruising Telstar 28 302 Watkins Glen
I got one of these scams. I told the guy I could only accept the check with a $50.00 cash non-refundable security fee.
He said he thought I was trying to scam him! He chided me for being dishonest! Hahaha!
 
Aug 7, 2013
43
O'day 39' 25th Anniversary Mystic, CT
+1 here,
I got the same text message from #(762)233-1844 , Ga., offering to buy my Raymarine equipment for $50.00 less than my asking price..... Same process, stated that he would 'make arrangements for a bank check to be sent to me from a client...... and a shipper will be coming for pickup....'.
I too, was intrigued and gave my name and PO box address for the check to be sent to...... That was on Friday, boy will 'The Admiral' get a laugh out of this at my expense!!!
I don't understand how this scam works though, usually I can figure out the end run, but how this scam favors out for the scammer, I can't figure.....
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,980
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
I don't understand how this scam works though, usually I can figure out the end run, but how this scam favors out for the scammer, I can't figure.....
The scammer sends you a phony check for more than you ask and requests that you send him the difference on a good check from your account or by money order. By the time your bank learns that the check you deposited is bad, the other check has been cashed and money collected. In the end you are on the hook for the check you sent and for the bad check you cashed. The scammer gets cash and whatever goods you were selling.

I've had good luck selling old boat parts on eBay. Just sold a Standard Horizon Ram Mic for more than I thought it was worth and a Blue Seas Battery Switch for a few bucks less than what it could be purchased new. Don't have to deal with scammers on eBay.
 
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Aug 3, 2012
2,542
Performance Cruising Telstar 28 302 Watkins Glen
The banks process overnight now, and the funds will be in your hands tomorrow. In about 3 days, the buyer wants a refund of some of the money. Additionally, you may have shipped the goods, thinking the check cleared. It didn't. In about 15 days your bank debits your account for the amount of the original check because it takes that long to find out it is bogus.
That is how it works. A certain percentage falls for it. There is no loss for the scammer if you don't fall for it.
 
Feb 2, 2006
453
Hunter Legend 35 Kingston
Had this scam when I was selling a car. It happens for Apartments for rent, cars, anything really ...

- There is always an "agent" or something that will pick up the item, not the person doing the deal
- They rarely care too much about the details of what you are selling (me:"do you want to look at the car I'm selling?",them:"no, that's ok, I trust you ...", me: "but what if it doesn't run", them: "that's ok, ... no worries")
- They agree to pay what you are asking, or very close to it.
- They send you bank drafts, or whatnot, that are worth more than you asked ... "by accident" ... from a bogus institution
- They say .... "oh sorry ... keep $100 extra for yourself, and send me the other $500 I overpaid ... and we'll all be happy ..."
- They hope 1 in a 100 will send them the $500 before their bogus bank draft bounces, which can be 5-10 days ....

They just scan electronic ads and negotiate 100's of fake buys. Just need a few to make it worth while.

Rinse, repeat ...

When they were trying to scam me, I kept it going for ages. They got upset that I was slow to send them money, and kept asking questions. Threatened me and accused me of scamming ...
Canadian authorities, while they do have a way to report this, don't have time to follow-up on my problem as it's 1 in 10,000 calls/reports they must get every week.

Chris
 
Jun 29, 2010
1,265
Beneteau First 235 Lake Minnetonka, MN
I filed a complaint with FBI Internet Crimes this morning. Not thinking much will come of it but, if you don't do anything then there is zero chance anything will happen.
 
Jan 27, 2008
3,008
ODay 35 Beaufort, NC
I had what looks like a similar scam last Monday. A text message from someone claiming to be from Atlanta wanting to buy a motor I have posted. Made a reasonable offer but when I pressed for more info on completing the transaction, what kind of boat it was intended for, shipping, etc, the interaction ceased. It seemed suspicious at the time because there was no interest in condition, photos, or any other actual info about the motor.
 

pateco

.
Aug 12, 2014
2,207
Hunter 31 (1983) Pompano Beach FL
Same process, stated that he would 'make arrangements for a bank check to be sent to me from a client...... and a shipper will be coming for pickup....'
Mine for a car, said it was for his son, and he was going to have a friend pick it up and the overpayment.. I told him that was great, he could have his friend cash the check and just give me the cash I needed for the car. He hung up.
 
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Jun 9, 2004
615
Catalina 385 Marquette. Mi
Why would anyone do business from a text message is beyond me. Unless you are an 18 year old girl.
 
Aug 3, 2012
2,542
Performance Cruising Telstar 28 302 Watkins Glen
Why would anyone do business from a text message is beyond me. Unless you are an 18 year old girl.
I would actually guess a great deal of good business occurs on Craigslist via text. I bought a $750 dollar Asymmetrical Spinnaker almost entirely via text exchange. The seller did not know me from Adam. He sent me the sail before I paid, told me to try it out, and pay him if I decided to keep it. I guess I must have a really honest looking "face!"
Now along the way, he did text me a short film of him laying out the sail, and we exchanged photos of our boats. Don't really know how that verified the integrity of the deal because anything can be faked.
 

weinie

.
Sep 6, 2010
1,297
Jeanneau 349 port washington, ny
I filed a complaint with FBI Internet Crimes this morning. Not thinking much will come of it but, if you don't do anything then there is zero chance anything will happen.
 
Jun 8, 2004
8,976
-na -NA Anywhere USA
As a dealer, I had some try to scam me but like anyone, I was cautious. When I had one who wanted to know the hull ID number, state registration, owner's name, I stopped that line of questioning and asked when he was coming to look. There was a pause and I said, I just scammed you back. He hung up. Never was a check mentioned or change of funds so be careful. Never knew why he wanted the information unless scamming from a different direction.
 
Aug 3, 2012
2,542
Performance Cruising Telstar 28 302 Watkins Glen
I was about to say that if he were, all that would mean is that he wouldn't be capable of tying a proper cleat hitch. But I've stirred that pot enough.
No. I could do it. I would just do it wrong in order to piss you off! Oh wait, that is more like a 15 year old girl!
 
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