Fortunately most boat buyers and sellers are genuine however there are some unscrupulous people in the world. Please use common sense. Typically the deal seems "too good to be true"! These types of scams occur on the internet as well as ads in newspapers. We wish to uphold Boats Online's reputation as a dependable website for buying and selling boats and hope this information helps.
For more information relating to scams, visit www.scamwatch.gov.au, an independent website run by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).
The bogus boat buyer offers to pay more than the asking price. The buyer will send you a cheque or payment by bank transfer, and request that you pay them the difference. Alternatively, they pay you the asking price and request you pay the "shipping costs". The cheque then bounces or the bank transfer fails and you are out of pocket.
What to do:
ALWAYS make sure you know who you are talking to and who you are dealing with when selling your boat - request their name, address, email and phone number. Beware of poorly worded emails from 'free' email addresses eg. gmail. They often claim to be overseas and wish to buy the boat sight unseen. NEVER send any money back to the "purchaser". Be careful when responding to any email that requests your personal and financial information. We monitor enquiries via our online boat enquiry form however if you have listed your mobile phone number on your boat ad, beware of possible SMS messages from scammers.
Anyone can list a boat for sale on a website or put an ad in the newspaper with a picture of a boat. Unfortunately there are some people who list a boat for sale without ever owning it. When you contact the boat seller, they request that you send some money as a "down payment" so you don't "miss out". Simply put, they take your money and run.
When buying a boat which is listed on Boats Online, you deal directly with the boat seller. Beware of scammers who tell you that the transaction will be done through Boats Online. Boats Online is NOT involved in the transaction between boat buyer and boat seller and we will NEVER send you an invoice to complete the transaction.
What to do:
Make certain that the boat seller is real. Request the seller's name, address, email and phone number. Also request proof of ownership of the boat for sale. Sellers should be able to produce evidence of Title, Registration, and Hull Identification Number (HIN) on more recently manufactured boats. Be careful if a seller is offering free shipping or relocation. Relocating a boat any distance can be costly and should be reflected in the asking price. Be careful when responding to any email that requests your personal and financial information.