- Always ensure that you are dealing with a legitimate vendor. Secure absolute contact details including their name, address and phone number. Call the vendor at different times of the day to see who and how they respond.
- Never send a copy of your identity card to anyone known to you solely by email or by telephone.
- Request the seller to provide any hull number, serial numbers of engines, motors, trailer details etc. and have these checked by the respective manufacturers.
- Any request asking for an advance payment may be indicative of an attempted scam. Please use good judgment in these situations.
- Advance payments requests apply to both cash transfers, i.e. by Western Union, MoneyGram, Escrow etc. as well as bank transfers. Unfortunately there is always a possibility that your funds may be withdrawn with falsified documents so please consult with your insurance about the precautions and liability.
- Should you feel skeptical about any ongoing deal, it is advised to use a reputable escrow service of your choice. This will ensure you receive the boat in the agreed condition, thus releasing any funds to the seller once accepted.
- Does the offer seem too good to be true? Then it most likely is. Please use good judgment in these situations.
- Please pay attention to details, particularly when entering into agreements outside of your native country.
How do I recognize a fraudulent seller?
- Is someone asking you for payment before you have seen the boat?
- Has it been requested to use a third party transportation company, and you assume the costs?
- Is it possible to talk the seller directly or by phone ?
Is it possible to talk the seller directly or by phone? An ad is posted in which the scammer is posing as a seller. Often the advertised property is offered at a very attractive price. Interested customers try to contact the seller regarding the ad, only to discover the phone number is not correct or doesn't exist.
The prospective buyer only is available via email communications, and not reachable by phone. The reasons typically are "I'm deaf, I've been in an accident, I've been sick, I'm on a business trip, and therefore only reachable through email."
Once the seller has this money in hand, there can be many excuses why the boat has not been delivered. In some cases, the buyer is asked for additional payment for transporting the boat. Once the seller has received this payment, he will disappear without a trace.
How do I recognize a fraudulent buyer?
- In the case that someone emails you and wants to buy the boat without testing it
You are offered an amount in excess of the price
It's been suggested to handle the transport through a transportation company, and you must assume the costs
- It's not possible to speak to the buyer on the phone
- The potential buyer is abroad
- Want the first contact via SMS?
Fraud cases (examples)
A shipping company should handle the transportation and be trusted with the finances. A correct business address on the homepage? That's provided on a secure site.
Caution - the whole company is probably purely virtual. Professional looking websites are built quickly - and deleted just as quickly.
You receive an email with a forged sender [URL ]. In most cases you will be asked to send your user information.
Here are scammers at work. By disclosing your login information, a foreign third-party receives access to your account, and thereby starts fraud on your account.
[URL ] will NEVER ask you your login information. If in doubt, please contact our support team firstname.lastname@example.org
Check Fraud / Differential-Payment Fraud
You offer a boat for sale. An overseas buyer responds. The buyer offered to buy the car without having seen it before.
You receive a check that is well above the purchase price. The buyer apologizes that he has accidentally sent the wrong amount, and asks you to send the excess amount by Western Union.
When you cash the check at the bank, the amount will be immediately credited. However, after being reviewed by the bank, which may take some time, the check is canceled because it is not covered. In the meantime, you have refunded the excess amount back or you have made this transaction via Western Union or similar institutions.
Once your money has been paid to the receiver, it is irrevocably lost.
Rip Deal / Exchange Fraud
The Rip Deal is a fraudulent currency exchange transaction. The scammer uses many different tricks, all with the same goal; to cheat their victims out of their money.
How a Rip Deal transpires
The scammer will typically display an ad (eg, boat ad) to lure in their victims. Most currency exchange scams find their victims in this manner.
After contact, a meeting is arranged - usually abroad. At this meeting, the fraudster steers the conversation to currency exchange or cash transaction.
The victim is offered an exchange for Euros or vice versa US Dollars. Sometimes the scammer pretends his has also been a victim of black or laundered money, which is his excuse for why the currency exchange must be done secretly.
There is virtually no limit in the scammer's mind regarding the fraudulent currency exchange.
- counterfeit money or facsimile notes instead of real money
- an empty briefcase of money
- prepared bundles of money, where only the top note is real
- counterfeit money, which is printed with removable ink
How to spot currency exchange scams
- the supposed buyer requires you to pay brokerage fees and commissions in cash
- the payment transaction must be made in cash
- unreasonably high profits are promised
- the meeting place for the transfer is in a foreign country (Northern Italy, France, Spain, Turkey or Benelux)
- meeting place
- the supposed prospect wants to meet in a public place
- the meeting point and agreed time is changed on short notice.
- the price of the object in your ad is accepted without testing and/or inspection
- Besides the actual transaction (eg House Sale ) other transactions (including foreign exchange transactions ) should be liquidated.