Whether you are selling your boat via advertising in magazines or on the internet, there are people out there that will stop at nothing to try to con you. As long as you are aware of their methods, you can make sure that you don’t fall prey to their game.
THE ADVANCE FEE FRAUD
Also known as the “Overpayment Scam” or “Advance Payment Scam”.
Here’s how it works…
The fraudster will inform you that they are interested in purchasing your boat. He will send a cashier’s cheque, banker’s draft or business cheque for considerably more than the agreed sale price of the boat, and will ask you to send the difference back. He will give some excuse for sending too much money, such as blaming the error on his accountant.
Obviously, you would wait for the cheque to clear before you sent back the difference. However, the cheques are usually forged or stolen so your bank will honour the cheque, and it may be weeks, sometimes months before the forgery or theft is discovered. You will then be liable for paying back the value of the cheque. And, if the boat has already been shipped to the con-artist, you lose out twice.
Unfortunately, if you have been a victim of this type of fraud, there is little you can do to get your money or your boat back. Usually, the con-man will be outside of your country, where your police have no jurisdiction.
Nigeria seems to be the biggest source of this type of deception, and this, along with other types of fraud are thought to be one of the largest industries in Nigeria. Therefore any messages originating from Nigeria should be treated with the utmost of caution. Below is a list of countries that have a high incidence of this kind of fraud. However, you should be aware that the scammer may not tell the truth about their location and may even disguise the IP address of their computer so that the originating country cannot be determined.
HIGH RISK SCAM COUNTRIES
- Côte D’Ivoire and many other African countries
At TheYachtMarket we take fraud very seriously indeed. We filter all e-mail messages from buyers to sellers that come through our system, checking for potential fraud. However, no security system can be 100% accurate, so your vigilance is also required, which is why we’ve written this guide to help you.
Here are a few pointers to help ensure you don’t get scammed:
- If the buyer sends you more money than you have agreed on, it is a scam. Do not proceed with the sale.
- Do not send any money back to the buyer.
- Remember the cheque you receive may not be legitimate.
- Get as much contact information from the buyer as possible, including an address. A PO Box address is not good enough. Be very suspicious of anyone who is unwilling or delays in providing this information. Contact them by telephone, e-mail, post and await a reply to make sure the contact details are real.
- Be extra cautious if the buyer is outside of your own country.
- If the person mentions the purchase of the wrong item e.g. a car instead of a boat, it is probably a scam; many of these scammers have many scams on the go in different market areas and often get them mixed up.
- Think about enlisting the services of an escrow agent.
- Trust your gut instincts; if something seems too good to be true, or just seems wrong, it probably is.
Below are some examples of messages from fraudsters posing as buyers:
My Name is Steven Duncan, a citizen of U.S but am now in Australia for business which i have build a family there and we are living there. I came accross your ad which it said you have an boat for sale and i have been searching to get 1 like this and i do loved to have it so i want you to know that am highly interested in purchasing it.
I would like you to kindly get back to me with the amount you will be selling for me.
I do want you to know that the shipping will be handle by me, I have a shipping agent who will come to your place and i want you to know that they are perfect in shipping which they will come to your place for the pickup and the payment will be by a ceritified check in U.S Funds..Looking forward to hear from you soon.Thanks.
Do you still have your ferry for sale? Kindly get back to me with the last offer you have on it, also with the present condition of it.
For the payment is via bank transfer. if accept, Kindly get back to me. I will be waiting to hear from you asap.
This is TIM MIKE.
I must state my interest in purchasing of your item,i will like to know the condition of the item and i will like to tell you that in need of this item urgenly.so i will like you to get back to me with this infor.
LAST PRICE OF THE ITEM………..
CONDITION OF THE ITEM…………
PICS OF THE ITEM………
YOUR FULL INFO………
do get back to me asap with all the information listed above.
GOOD DAY,I AM JOHN EDGNER, INTERESTED IN PURCHASING YOUR BOATS, PLEASE IF THE ITEM IS AVAILABLE KINDLY GET BACKTO WITH YOUR LAST OFFERING PRICE AND PICTURE, ALSO LET ME KNOW THE PRESENT INFORMATION REGERDING IT CONDTION.HOPE IT WILL NOT BE HECKTIC IN CHANGING OWNERSHP IWILL BE LOOKING FORWARD TO HEAR FROM YOU
I am Mr J.Irons a sale agent located in uk,i will like to purchase your i.e…………Hardy 18 motor sailer ,I saw the advert and forwarded your advert information to a client who should be interested in it,i will like to know if it is still available.If it is,please be sure to provide us with the following informations.
:Seller’s full name
:Seller’s full contact address and phone number.
:If check or money order is acceptable
We will be very hapy if you can provide us with the above requested informations.We will also like to state here that you do not have to bother about the shipping,that would be handled by an appointed shipperin.
Thank you very much
The price of is okay by me ,I will go ahead and Instruct a personal client in the UK who is owning me to transfer the funds to you, which would cover all expenses for it. It is most likely you would get it sometime next week or even sooner.
He will be transfering you the sum of 11,000,The reason being that after you deduct your cost price of Classic Motor Launch, which is 7,500 pounds and other expenses emanating from all forms of charges, The rest 3,500 could be wired by you to an international shipping agent via western union money transfer,who will be communicated to you in due time.
He will help in the shipping of the item to my location, I would want it to be packaged and delivered in the safest and most proffesional way.the shipper is likely to be reluctant to pick it up until he is mobilised, the balance wired to him is his fees for his services,tranportation to and for clearing and all other charges involved in this transaction okay.