Internet Classified Scams


JSA of LIS classified posters have become the target of internet classified scams in recent years.  Two examples of typical scams are listed below.  One fraud originated for J/24 sailors, but it has been used to target JSA of LIS classified sellers as well.  Typically, the spelling and grammar are poor.  In addition, the scams provide very little information about the buyer (no phone number or name) and ask for personal information.  Finally, the arrangements are odd, involving odd payment methods and boats being shipped to foreign countries.  As an example, the Optimist is available worldwide:  why would someone want to have a boat shipped from the U.S. to a foreign country when they could realistically easily get one there?



Scam Example 1


Hello Seller,

In respect of the advert you placed, I have intrest in buying the boat for $2,200. i will like to know some neccessary information about the boat for me i can proceed with the transaction. And the question are as follow,

* The condition of the boat right now?

* The state where is located?

* Is the boat available for sale right now?

* the shipment cost ( note I have a shipping company that can pickup the boat but I still want to here from You)

* your payment option ( I can only pay you with cashier check.)

Your anwser to these question will guide me in buying the boat. Therefore don't hesitate to reply me back cause your reply is very importanat and urgent.

Your's Truly,




Scam Example 2


Fraud Alert

For Sellers of J/24s and J/24 Merchandise

Don't Get Ripped Off By This Scam!

Posted August 2004


Attention J/24 Enthusiasts,


Although the J/24 Used Boat List and Classified Ads have been great resources for sailors, there are scam artists targeting these pages and they want your money. They typically pose as foreign buyer's agents and are offering to pay MORE than the asking price for your boat. They always pay with very real looking cashier's checks. In return for paying more than your asking price, you are asked to send the buyer or a shipping agent the amount of the overpayment after you have deposited the cashier's check in your bank.


WARNING! These cashier's checks are forgeries! Federal banking law requires that cashier's checks be credited to your account within 5 days of deposit.  However, the check is not made good until it has cleared at the issuing bank. Your local bank will likely not catch the forgery until the check is returned to them, and this can take as many as 3 to 4 weeks after you deposit the funds. By that time you (having access to the funds and thinking the check was good) will have already sent the money to the buyer. When your bank discovers that the check was a forgery, you will be liable for returning the total amount of the forged check to your bank. Basically, the scum bags have stolen your money.


In an additional twist, if they scam artist scum are successful in getting your money with the original overpayment scam, they will target you again.  Usually they will try to get the rest of the money back by claiming that the buyer has recently died and is unable to complete the purchase. They will ask for an entire refund on the money that does not exist because the original check was a forgery.


How does this work? Read the following links carefully.


If you have been ripped off by this or a similar scam, please report this to the FBI's Internet Fraud Complaint Center at