While the vast majority of RowingAdverts users are trustworthy and genuine, a few people posting as buyers/sellers are attempting to scam people out of their goods/money by providing fake methods of payment or fake/no items for sale. eg fake cheques, promises of money via a bank draft. etc.
Below are a few of the most commonly used scams and examples of emails received by our users. Please read through the list and make yourself aware of them.
Latest Scam Warning - Updated June 2019
Email Contact Removed
The option to have people contact you via email when you create an advert has been removed for the moment as there were several cases reported where people were scammed due to emails. If you see any strange/suspect messages being sent via the internal messaging system please report them so we can monitor/ban their account.
Safety Notes For Buyers
Do NOT send money to a bank account that you have received over email without double checking the details via a phone call first. The sender's email address could be compromised and the bank details could belong to an external scammer. Be sure to double check them!
Do NOT rely only on emails for correspondence. Emails can be hacked. Ask for a phone number to ring the seller on and make sure they are involved in the sport of rowing. Try and meet the person you are buying from first if at all possible.
Safety Notes For Sellers
Make sure you change your email address password frequently. A lot of people have their email addresses hacked without even knowing it. You can check if your email/passwords have been compromised here: https://www.avast.com/hackcheck/
If your email is hacked the scammers can lie in wait until you have built up a relationship with a prospective buyer and then send them their own bank details. Any money transferred will then be going straight to a scammer. Please be vigilant for any suspicious activity on your email account!
REAL EXAMPLE SCAM EMAIL
Hi, Thanks for the quick response about the [Janousek Single est 60-70kg 1x 1980’s Refurbed] am buying from you,anyway the price [£1200] is OK by me but i will like you to know that payment will be made by Cheque.
If this mode of payment is OK by you, Kindly send your information which you will like to receive the payment from the post man, so that i can instruct my secretary to issued it immediately.
I will forward your information to the secretary and he confirm to me that payment will be sent to you as asap okay.Anyway,I will assume the Item has been sold to me.
Also i will appreciate if you can get the advert off the website and don't get contacted by another buyer.Anyway, payment will be sent to your Address soon. Note: The secretary will issue an excess money on the payment which would cover both the payment and shipment alongside with some other goods i bought down from other locations.
All you need to do, Once you confirm the check payment in your mailbox by this week,you get it cashed or deposited in your account and get back to me with the clearance date and has soon as you have confirm the check payment cleared in your account,you are to deduct the cost of the payment agreed,afterward and send the remaining funds to my Removal agent who will be coming down to your location for the pick up....the rest of my funds is meant for the shipment of all my consignment including yours.
I will send the Removal agent details when the payment delivers. I will entertain any comment or suggestion.It's my pleasure doing business with you.
Hope to read from you soon with your details below: Name to be on Cheque:..... Address where Cheque will be received by you:....... Phone Number such as Mobile,Land line.... Never mind about the pick up,it will be after you must have cleared the check payment from your Bank Account and i will be responsible for the bank charges okay.
Await your Quick Response so that i can arrange for the payment immediately. N.B....I we waits for the cheque payment to clear in your account before the pick up of it at your locations okay.
Counterfeit Cashier's Cheque / Money Order
A bogus buyer will contact you with an email like the one that our member received, offering to send a cashier's cheque or bank draft for the full asking price if you provide your contact information. At some point, the buyer will tell you that he/she must send you the cheque for significantly more than the purchase price and give you one of a number of bogus reasons why this is necessary.
Most commonly, the buyer will claim to be out of the country and want to have the boat shipped to him/her. The buyer will ask you to deposit the funds and send some portion of the money to someone else, often a phony shipping company. Most people assume a cashier's cheque or money order is the same as cash, but in the days of Photoshop and printers, that's no longer the case, and crooks can produce very convincing copies of the real thing, from seemingly legitimate UK. banks.
Once the bogus cheques are deposited, they must be cleared like any other cheque. Cheques may appear to clear your bank within a couple of days, and those funds may appear "available" in your account, but in reality it may take another month or more for the bank to establish that a cheque is bogus, return it to you, and debit your account for that amount. By then, the money you transferred out of your account for "shipping" is long gone.
Recently, PayPal has become a target for scammers. The phony buyer will ask for your PayPal ID in order to send you a payment, again for substantially more than the purchase price. Shortly after that, you will receive a fake confirmation from PayPal with your user ID for more than the agreed purchase price, and the buyer will contact you asking you to send the extra money to a shipper. To make the scam look more legit, if you refuse, you'll receive additional fake notices from PayPal threatening to close your account if you don't transfer the extra money as per your "agreement."
In this variation, a bogus seller advertises a boat on a website often at a low but not quite scam-worthy price. When you try to buy the boat, the seller will suggest using an escrow service and recommend something that sounds legitimate like Escrowprotect.com or GoogleMoney.com. But the realistic-looking website is the center of the scam, and once you transfer your money you won't hear anything more about the boat, or the seller, ever again. Using an escrow service for a long-distance purchase makes good sense, but make sure to pick one like Escrow.com, eBay's recommended escrow provider. Be very cautious using escrow services you're not familiar with.
Nearly all scams involve emails, and they often contain clues to alert you. Any one of the following is a warning, and two or three together should put you on high alert and make you proceed with extreme caution.
No reference to what is being sold.
Scammers create a generic email to send to thousands of people, so they tend to use general language that could apply to anything. "Item," "merchandise," "what you are selling," and other indefinite terms are common. The more adept scammers can make this seem almost natural, or may even insert a single reference to your boat model and year. But other than that, you'll notice that the email could apply to a car or jewelry.
Poor grammar and language use.
Internet scams usually originate from outside the country, and the language often appears like it wasn't written by a native English speaker. If the email passes the sniff test with respect to language and grammar, consider whether it really sounds like a rower talking about a boat that he/she might actually buy. No rowing terminology or intelligent questions? Highly suspect.
No phone contact.
Scammers will go to great lengths not to talk to you, sometimes after pressing you for a phone number. They'll give reasons ranging from being out of the country to being in the military. Skype makes it easy to talk to someone in either of those situations, so if you think the person is legitimate, suggest that as an alternative. If they refuse, move on. Lately though, some scammers will include a phone number, often even a UK number. This may make them seem more legitimate, but in most cases, the phone will only be used for texting or sending pictures and documents. No-contract phones can be bought almost anywhere and are easily discarded.
Cobbled together email addresses.
Scammers constantly change their email addresses to avoid detection, and may have to get ones with fairly normal-looking names but lots of numbers. Keep in mind that scammers know how to route emails through multiple countries to try to avoid detection. View an email's header and you may find pathways that pass through several countries, a red flag. Be wary of a legitimate email service that has a different ending, such as Yahoo.fr rather than Yahoo.com as those originate outside the UK.
No interest in seeing the boat or haggling over the price.
Whether buying or selling, scammers are amazingly unconcerned about the price of the boat. Who wouldn't negotiate? And if buying, will often say they accept the boat "as is," won't mention a survey or inspection, and won't hold you responsible for its condition. Anyone willing to buy a boat sight unseen after a few emails should be regarded with suspicion — and if they're also not concerned about price, it's a good bet you're being scammed. If you're considering buying a boat, scammers will price the boat cheaply, but despite a plethora of pictures and a good description (likely swiped from a real ad), the boat doesn't even exist. If a boat you're seriously interested in is out of state, send someone to verify there really is a boat. Once you're satisfied that the boat is real you can proceed from there.
Wants to pay a different amount from the selling price.
If any mention is made of paying you anything more than the agreed price, walk away.
Changing names and locations in emails.
It can be difficult to keep the details straight when scammers are working multiple scams. If the person doesn't remember who or where he/she is supposed to be, or exactly what they're buying, you're being scammed.