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Old 10-06-2013, 17:49   #1
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Scam?

Yesterday, a listing appeared on sailboatlistings.com showing a 1975 Westsail 32 in Houston (Kemah), Texas. The listed asking price was an astonishing $2380.

I contacted the seller through the site, asking if a mistake had been made in entering the asking price (numerous Westsail 32s have appeared on the site in the past, with asking prices ranging from $21,000 to $48,000.) Today I received a reply that claimed the person was a female soldier about to be deployed to Afghanistan soon and needed to sell the vessel by June 17th, but "she" now said the boat was located in Virginia.

The person claimed the Westsail was in "pristine" condition, and that if I'd buy the boat before June 17th, she'd deliver it to me from Ft. Belvoir, VA (I'm in Colorado) within 2-3 days and that I could use the boat for 7 days without paying for it to see if I was happy. Such a deal!

The sender's last email stated, "If interested please include in your next email your contact info for eBay (full name, shipping address and phone number), so we can get the ball rolling." I guess "she" forgot that I'd contacted her through sailboatlistings.com, not eBay.

This is pretty funny, because it would probably cost at least three times that $2380 to haul a boat that displaces 19,500# and is 32' long with an 11' beam from Virginia to Colorado. Even if you could find a professional hauler with the right equipment to do the job, it wouldn't happen quickly. And anyway, I need the boat down in Mexico.

Here's what's interesting about this . . . there's an auction listing on eBay for the same vessel and the bid is already close to $5000. I think that listing is legitimate, though, as it's an entity that conducts auctions of donated vessels (Boat Angel Ministries.)

I suspect a scammer downloaded the pictures from the eBay auction to create a bogus offer on sailboatlistings.com, hoping to make a fast buck from a poor sailor who can't resist a "bargain." I must say that the site moved quickly when I told them what I thought was going on . . . within less than ten minutes of letting them know what I suspected, the ad disappeared.

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Old 10-06-2013, 18:01   #2
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Re: Scam?

I vote scam.
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Old 10-06-2013, 18:07   #3
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Re: Scam?

Tell them you have the money in hand but that you need a picture of the boat with the current newspaper in front of it so you *know* it's legit. Maybe just string it along. The guys who do that with scammers are hilarious.
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Old 10-06-2013, 18:08   #4
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Re: Scam?

Ask her "What's the color of the boathouse at Ft. Belvior Rowing Club?"
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Old 10-06-2013, 18:10   #5
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Re: Scam?

They had you at "pristine".
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Old 10-06-2013, 18:17   #6
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Re: Scam?

Similar story in todays Lattitude 38 about another boat for sale. Read it.
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Old 10-06-2013, 18:19   #7
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Re: Scam?

Did she forget to tell you that the boat came with a bridge located in Brooklyn?

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Old 10-06-2013, 18:27   #8
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Re: Scam?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
Tell them you have the money in hand but that you need a picture of the boat with the current newspaper in front of it so you *know* it's legit. Maybe just string it along. The guys who do that with scammers are hilarious.
Maybe ask him/her to hold up today's newspaper while smoking a cigar and sitting on the commanding officer's lap with the Westsail in the background.

The person also included the following in the last email:

"Also I made a photo album with the boat: Library Slideshow by Westsail321 | Photobucket

Thank you
Corporal Alicia C******* "

That had to take some time to rip-off the pics from the eBay auction and create the photobucket page. Something tells me they won't stop with this single attempt.

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Old 10-06-2013, 18:29   #9
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Re: Scam?

Man these scammers are everywhere anymore...
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Old 10-06-2013, 18:32   #10
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Re: Scam?

I'm going to be the middleman and hold the cash till the boat is delivered. Please send payment via bearer bonds to me.
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Old 10-06-2013, 20:53   #11
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Re: Scam?

if it sounds too good to be true - it is
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Old 10-06-2013, 22:45   #12
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I'll give them my Mexican cell number. Tell them I'm the bag man and we'll meet in Juarez, cash.
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Old 11-06-2013, 22:26   #13
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Re: Scam?

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I'll give them my Mexican cell number. Tell them I'm the bag man and we'll meet in Juarez, cash.
Heh . . . good idea, Eric.

I sent "Alicia" an email earlier today, letting her know I'm still interested in the Westsail 32. Here's her reply, just in:

Quote:
The boat is already at our Military Logistic Department form Fort Belvoir, U.S. Army base crated and ready to go. The Logistic Department will deliver the boat to your home so the shipping is free for you. Since the boat is in a military base, with no access you can not go there and take it, only the Logistic Department can deliver it, because the boat is in their custody.Shipping may take anywhere between 3 to 4 business days depending on the destination. All the documents you need for ownership; title, manuals and the bill of sale, etc.. will be provided along with the boat ( title and the bill of sale will be notarized by a notary public ).You will have 7 business days for inspection. If the boat is not like described you will have to ship it back at the end of the 7 business days,on my expense and have your money back from eBay.

Now if you really want to buy my boat please send me your full name full shipping address and phone # so I can open a case with eBay.After that you will receive a invoice from eBay with all the necessary steps to complete this transaction.I have a few guys interested so I will need a prompt answer from you!
Thanks,
Cool . . . free shipping!!! Your tax dollars at work, everybody!

And here's my reply to Alicia:

Quote:

Hi Alicia,

I think one of us is confused . . . you keep talking about eBay, but I saw your ad on sailboatlistings.com and contacted you through that site. Now I no longer see the boat on either sailboatlistings or eBay. Until someone can prove to me that there is a boat, I'm not divulging my personal information to anyone.

You're going to have to go to wherever the boat is sitting, ready for shipping, and take pictures of it for me. I'll need you to hold up the day's USA Today newspaper, clearly showing the current date and the boat must be easily identifiable in the background. Obviously, it should look just like the pictures you put on your photobucket page.

The pictures have to have a date and time stamp on them, too, and they must agree with what's on the newspaper. I'll also need to see a picture of your face holding up your drivers license right next to your face so that I can see you are the Alicia Chambers who should be identified on the license.

In addition, I'd like to have the name and contact information for your commanding officer. I need to verify that the shipping method you described is, in fact, what will occur if I agree to buy this boat. If it's just as you say it is, your CO should be happy to help you sell your boat before you ship out.

Thanks.

TJ
Can't wait to see what happens next. Ya know, I'll bet I could build a nice-sized guest house out of a Westsail 32 shipping crate, delivered right to my driveway courtesy of the U.S.Army gratis.

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Old 11-06-2013, 22:31   #14
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Re: Scam?

Get some picture of a guy in the Army and say:

Alicia, my brother is in the Army and at [insert nearby base here], he can come get it himself. He'll bring the money as well onto the base, just tell him where to drop it off!
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Old 11-06-2013, 22:51   #15
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Re: Scam?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I'll give them my Mexican cell number. Tell them I'm the bag man and we'll meet in Juarez, cash.
Dude, just put the whites in the bag...

Another vote for playing the scammer, make them work for a living. I mean if you're gonna scam, at least know wtf you're talking about....
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