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for sale : usa Things to watch out for to prevent being scammed.

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As most of you know scams are rampant on Craigslist and other sites. Less likely here but it happened to me. Here are some major points I have learned along the way.


1. Check the users history on the site before agreeing to purchase anything. If they signed up for membership very recently and messaged you privately that they have the item you are looking for be very careful. Especially if they show no other activity on the site.


2. If they refer you to someone else to purchase the item through who is not a member of the site, ie "contact this individual at this email address ______________" should raise red flags.


3. Look at the wording the individual uses. Yes is it possible that someone who does not speak english as a first language is completely legit unfortunately many times they are not. Many scammers throw in the words like "kindly" to seem friendly in strange places that really make no sense.  The following is an excerpt from a message I received from this scammer "Okay a notification from Paypal will be sent to you kindly click yes on the notification to complete your payment. This is to ensure that you have successfully made your payment to me so in order to have them shipped to your location. Kindly let me know when you have received it and clicked it."


Notice how some words do not belong or out of place. In this situation I was trying to buy one downrigger but they referred to the item as "them" indicating this person does not even know what a downrigger is. They use words like "merchandise" or "goods" to describe the items you are trying to purchase when anyone that fishes would call it a "rigger" or "downrigger"


4. They ask for steps that are foreign to you compared to past transactions. This individual asked for a screen shot of my payment confirmation. They also insisted that they would send a notification to me through paypal to confirm the payment. This step does not exist in Paypal. 


5. Scammers are getting very sneaky and use American names and emails. 


Im sure most of this was covered already but go into each transaction with caution and do not send cash, check, or money order to anyone unless you personally know them. Do not use friends and family in Paypal unless you personally know them. 

Edited by Reelcrazy
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I've recently run into multiple obvious scams in the 'boats for sale - by owner' section on Craigslist recently. Typically its a nice looking fishing boat at a very nice price. The 'seller' has recently been widowed or divorced and moved out of state, and the boat will be delivered via eBay motors or some such..


The first question you should ask when inquiring about a used boat is 'where is it and when can I come look at it'.  That will weed out this type of scam right away. 

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Many if not all scammers on Craigslist have a gmail account or a phone number area code listed that isn't close to the area code of the address.  Yes people can move but it is a flag.  I got into it on a transaction that I ended quickly when the woman couldn't come up with a good explanation for the area code matter and kept changing a story.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Reelcrazy is spot on with all his points. I've been lurking for several months reading and learning a lot. I decided to sign up to participate here and there. I figured I'd see if anyone was selling a Raymarine Sportpilot Plus. Geez, who knew everyone has a friend that has one for sale and ironically the seller speaks or I guess in these cases types broken english.  Hard to believe that a fishing discussion board can have so many people trying to run a scam.

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  • 3 months later...

Typical on Craigelist and other sites offering boats for sale they  have these characteristics in common.

No Hull ID # pictured.

No background views to determine location. 

Limited photo's, usually no more than 3.

No Licence Plate Photo.

Use only email for responses.

Prices obviously way off they mark.

Flag them whenever your in doubt.


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I hope you aren't giving some lurker a good start on things with the details. It is always a potential problem same as some of the National Geographic programds that cover drug deals and smuggling. These guys are able to use information to develop "work- arounds" despite the original concerns and intentions of the presentors. A lot of the current telephone and other scams are now done by the cartels as they are less liable to get caught and the penalties aren't as great as for other stuff.

Edited by Sk8man
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