1 - a thread of several unrelated addresses - a scam buyer said he was in Michigan; the return address on the Fed Express envelope was Hawaii; the check had 3 different states on it.
2 - the check is always for more money than the transaction amount- a transaction amount for $1900; the check for $3000. Various excuses for this - usually that they want you (the seller) to pay a "shipper" and then after you have done this, you find that the original check bounces.
Please see the rest of these pages, which outline different scenarios.
These scams are not directed solely at boat sellers, they will try anything for sale on the net! Send the url of this page worldwide and let's get these guys back to an honest living.
The purchase scam goes like this: they want to buy your boat for $2,000, but they have a debtor who owes them $7500 in the states, and they want the debtor to pay you the $7500 by check and have you wire them the difference of $5500, Western Union. Then you find out the check is bogus.
They also counterfeit US Postal Money Orders, millions of dollars of these have been found! The best way to identify a genuine postal money order, postal service officials say, is to look for the telltale watermark, which, when held up to the light, should reveal an image of Benjamin Franklin. Genuine postal money orders also have a security strip running alongside the watermark, just to the right. If held to the light, a microfiber strip will show the letters "USPS" along its length.
ALWAYS ASK YOUR BUYER FOR THEIR PHONE NUMBER, SO THAT YOU CAN PHONE THEM. SCAMMERS DO NOT LIKE TO GIVE OUT THEIR NUMBER
NEW "Paypal" scam. 3/2012
The Paypal logo looks legitimate.
You have received a PayPal Payment of $15,300.00 from Kenneth Hill.
A temporary hold has been placed on this transaction!
As mentioned in the receipt of Payment and as per New PayPal Payment
policy, we have fully debited the total amount (above) from the
buyer's account which includes the buyer's shipper's pick up fees.
In order to complete this transaction and get the funds approved in
your account. We advice you go to nearest Western Union Office,and send the $1,250 to the Agent and send us a Scanned Copy/Photograph of your Western Union Transaction Receipt (in .JPG Format) with the Western Union Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) in details.
Here is another scammer. 2/13
I saw your item from site,which you placed on advert for sale. I am interested in buying the item. I will like to know if it is still available for sale and it's working condition. Last price?, My mode of payment is Bank Transfer, Check cashier and money order? Please reply promptly so that I can make a decision.
Here are some new scammer emails that I was sent today. (7/18/11)
Attention, We saw the advert of your(BOAT)for sale kindly please get back to me if it still available for sale and get back to me with your last offer.
I await your reply soonest.
Best Regards. Mr Robert Massimo
The following emails from this gentleman keep asking "what is the price of the boat." He doesn't seem to be looking at the ad at all.
A gentleman named JOE SPIVEY is emailing sellers constantly.
Again, always ask for their phone number. That seems to stop them.
I'm inquiry on the boat i saw it pictures that you have advertise for
sale on sailing texas.
However,i want to know if it is still available and also your best
asking price for it.
They always want to know the "best price for your boat."
BE AWARE. HARDLY ANYONE WILL BUY A BOAT UNSEEN. AND WOULD ANYONE SHIP A $1000 BOAT 3000 miles? Best thing to do is to DELETE.
How are you doing and your Folks? While surfing through the internet, your
advert posted for sale was found, I am Mr Maxell from Detroit. The advert i saw
happen to be the one i have been searching for a while now, I will be glad if
you sale for me if its available, and don't worry about the shipping because
i have a company that is responsible for that which is ASC LIMITED (Clearing and
Forwarding) and they have been working for me years ago.
I will like to know the following details..
Item available for sale....
Pictures, if Available...
The final price...
My payment method will be through Cashier's Check or Money Order, I wait
your swift response in regard to this.
ASC appears to be in Nigeria.
Here's a scammer email that I was sent today. (12/18/10)
How was your day,hope great?I'm steven roggers .I saw your posted for sale ,And am so much interested in purchasing it,i can only pay you with check So i will really appreciate if you can get back to me with the condition,location and your final asking price for it. Am awaiting your quick response so that we could proceed further.
This was followed with:
Thanks so much for your quick response, and i really appreciate hearing back from you, I'm okay with the price and the condition.I resides at 1351 Holmby Avenue. Los Angeles, California, (This is fictitious). But i will be leaving my home town state tomorrow to another home town state in Little Rock, Arkansas for a speculative purpose with my company board of directors,but never the less As per the payment i will have to instruct my Wife to send out a Bank Certified Check to you,via USPS courier service which will take only 1-2 days to get to you. course this is the only means of payment I can offer you now due to my present departing schedule off home, besides you don't need to worry about the shipping,I've my reputable shipping company that will be handling the pickup for me and they'll be coming over to your house for the pickup as soon as the deal is up. Kindly count it sold to me already and don't receive any other offer regarding the sale. They often say this. IGNORE. So to make payment out to you, you'll have to email me your details as follows:
Name To Be Written On The check,
Full Home Address(Including zip code)
Cell Phone & Home Phone #,
I look forward to your prompt response and thanks so much for your co-operation.
Here's a new scammer email that Brian sent me 9/17/09, Brian put an ad on Sailing Texas in Sept. 2009 and received this right away. Typical, with the mention of a "certified personal check", I've not heard of a "certified" personal check before! The "shipping company" is also a common scam. But look, you know every ad on Sailing Texas has the location and year of the boat, so why is this scammer Ryan asking for location and year? Because it is a form letter he is sending out over and over, that's why!
My Name is Ryan,I am using this medium to notify you of my interested in purchase your item you have posted on a sailingtexas classifieds Avrt.
1)Is your item still for sale?
2)Where are you located?
3)may i know why you want to sell it?
4)Has this item involved in any damage before?
5)can i see more Pic?
6)do i need to repair?
7)what year is this item manufactured?
8)what is the final price of the item?
9)can you help me determine the weight?
10)I will like to know if you do except a Certified Personal check as mode of payment?
11) I have a freight company on my own will be available for them? Because the operate 7:00 am to 7:00 pm Mon-Saturday,so i will like you to get back me with your contact Name and Address,phone # to mail out the payment to.I will be glad to read from you soonest.
There are many variations, and if you continue through these scam pages you should be immune.
You can forward suspicious emails to the US Treasury at Hotline@oig.treas.gov