Watch for this scam if you're selling your boat

News is just coming in to the YM office about a scam in which yachtsmen selling their boats are being swindled.

Details are being clarified and further enquiries being made, here’s how the scam is understood to work:

A potential buyer makes contact with a private seller via email.
Enquiries are made by the buyer, photos requested and questions asked.
The buyer states that he wants the boat to be shipped abroad.
He offers to pay by cheque.
The cheque is stolen or a fake but clears.
The boat is delivered and disappears.
The forgery/theft is discovered and the cheque subsequently bounces.

Several cases of this fraud have been anecdotally reported and are being investigated.

We’ll bring you more details as we get them. In the meantime follow these precautions when selling your yacht:

Establish the buyer’s identity.
Speak to them on the phone.
Establish a physical address.
Be suspicious of ‘remote buyers’ using agents.
Raise any suspicions about a cheque’s validity with your bank.
If in doubt seek professional advice or talk to the police.