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scammers

Our classifieds, for the most part, are pretty successful. However buyer and seller beware…

When I decided to sell my Farr/Mumm 30 USA 24, the Sailing Anarchy Classifieds seemed like the most logical place to start since I had sold 2 of my previous boats there quickly and professionally with quality interest and great people. I listed the boat at an aggressive number knowing the boat needs sails and a little work to make it “Worlds ready” I was inundated with questions and people requesting pictures. One of these people was “very interested” and asked all the usual questions…. Pictures, age, why ect…. He then offered me a number that worked for me and we had a deal. First caution to all… this was only thru email, he did not call me or give me any of his information until way later except his name. He wrote that he was from overseas and he wanted to get his shipping details together and that he would want to pay me for the boat and for me to give money to the shipper. This sounded a little fishy to me, but I figured why not, I could agree to the deal and keep pursuing others until I received the check since he would not sign a contract, only email and told me he was sending a certified check….

Weeks turned into over a month and with emails back and forth that the check was on the way, finally one day I received a check at my office because I would not use my home address since it seemed fishy. Miraculously one day I received a fed ex envelope from somewhere in Georgia and it was to my attention with a check inside for $250,000.00 nothing else except a check. I emailed the “buyer” Kelley Deforest ([email protected]) if he had sent a check. He emailed back YES. Since at this point I knew something was very wrong, I went to my bank and opened a separate account and asked my banker to call the bank and verify funds in the account from New Hampshire. I had also done some research about the business name on the check and all appeared to be legit. Once my banker called and got to the branch manager they found out the account had been closed and that the check was fraudulent, they recommended I call the police locally and file a police report… within 5 minutes of the bankers call my cell phone rang with a blocked number and it was the mysterious Kelley. He must have had someone inside the bank, he asked me why I was checking the account and why not to just deposit the check. I told him it was fraudulent and I was making a police report. He hung up on me. I then got another email later that day that his accountant sent the check from the wrong account and he was going to send another one. I requested all kinds of information and proof of company ownership… he disappeared. The police told me that the FBI and other agencies were investigating this type of fraud. Their goal was for me to deposit the check into my account and hopefully before it bounced pick up the boat and then once the check bounced they would have my account number and routing number because they print it on the returned check which would get sent back to them. They would then try and drain my account.

This is a very sophisticated group who have been at this for years. Caution… if it sounds to good to be true, it usually is. I wanted to warn all those who have boats for sale or things on craigs list ect., these people are out there. I had a friend who had a similar situation with a dress on craigs list. If you decided to entertain one of these unusual situation please be careful and do not give any personal information about yourself and NEVER use your personal or business accounts. These people are very convincing and push the edge of that sounds crazy, but maybe it could be real.

If you are interested in a great Farr30 please do not hesitate to call or email as I just reduced the price!