The classifieds are great and very active, tons of catamaran boats and parts get sold there.
It's easy to get excited when you've placed an ad and get that great "contact seller" email enquiring about your item. If you don't place a lot of online ads you might not recognize the signs that you are being roped into a scam.
The initial email is almost always strangely formal and specific.
Here's a real example that was just reported.
Notice two things,
- The way the scammer matches the "your 2010 Weta #357" with the ad title, who does that? Real initial enquiries are more casual.
- They say they want to Buy and how they want to pay, without asking any questions about the item itself. Real buyers have specific questions about the item even if they really do want to buy it now, and payment isn't the first thing mentioned.
If you end up answering a contact email that is a scammer because you weren't quite sure and it might be legit, the next email will tell the tale. They will be more interested in explaining why they can't meet in person or talk on the phone and there will be some fishy stuff about payment. here's the real followup email to the Weta contact.
Basically complete double-talk BS with nothing about the boat or part they supposedly want to buy.
If you continue after this, the next step in the scam is some form of request that you "help them out" by letting them pay you more than you ask to cover "expenses" and you can refund the difference later, they will trust you.
Hope that helps someone avoid contact with these a$$holes. It's an unfortunate part of any online advertising.
1992 Hobie 18
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