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Phishing Alert: A phishing email was reported by an advertiser sent from "buyers-support.net" that falsely purported to be associated with this site. Please never give your password out to anyone.
SailboatListings.com will never call you, text you, or send an email to you asking for your password. Any such call, text, or email is a phishing attempt.
SailboatListings.com will also never call you, text you, or email you to request any payment or fee.

Any time you buy or sell a boat or other item online, it is important to realize that the distance and anonymity of online contact put you at risk for fraud more than buying and selling face to face; distance and anonymity can make it easier for con-artists to attempt to scam honest people. The Internet is a truely wonderful tool to connect honest buyers and sellers, but you must always use common sense and not take anyone's identity or intentions for granted. While most people on the Internet are honest, just like in life, there are people both nearby and many from poor or lawless areas of the globe that are constantly looking for someone to take advantage of. The following are guidelines that should always be followed:

Tips for Avoiding Scams, as a Buyer:

  1. Discuss details of the boat by phone in addition to email or online so you speak with the person selling the boat.

  2. Get a landline number for the seller and verify that the phone number given matches the physical location of the boat listed.

  3. Ask for the boat's exact location and HIN number (Hull Identification Number) and do a quick web search on the boat's name, part of the boat's description, and/or HIN number

  4. Be more cautious of sellers using free email accounts as these can be used by overseas scam-artists and then discarded as they are reported; Notice poor grammar, lack of knowledge of local geography, incorrect location names, made-up or incorrectly formatted names, and numerically- or otherwise-generated throw-away email addresses as easy but usually correct indications of a scam attempt.

  5. Use extreme caution when buying a boat located a long distance from your location. Since this website is available to people around the world, we allow boats to be listed from around the world. However, buying a boat that is located a great distance from you increases the risk to you exponentially. Is it never a good idea to buy a boat without viewing it in person before any money changes hands. Only consider ads for boats that you can view in person. Avoid internet scams involving overseas boats or overseas sellers by only considering boats that you can survey and view in person.

  6. After discussing the details, have the boat surveyed before any money changes hands. View the boat in person, or at the very least, have a qualified friend acting as your agent view the boat on your behalf.

  7. sailboatlistings.com does not function as a broker or seller nor are we involved in any communication or transaction between buyer and seller. See Terms of Use / Access Agreement

  8. Please always use good judgment and due diligence when considering the purchase of a boat; it is the buyer's duty to inspect a boat prior to purchase or to have it surveyed or to have a broker act on their behalf.

  9. Never wire funds via western union, moneygram or any other wire service.

  10. Avoid scams where a seller wants you to pay or overpay any third party where part of the payment will then be rebated to the seller - this would almost always represent a scam.

  11. Never give out personal financial information (bank account number, social security number, ebay/paypal info, etc.)

Tips for Avoiding Scams, as a Seller:

  1. Never give your password to anyone. SailboatListings.com will never ask you for your password. Any such request is a phishing attempt.

  2. Fake cashier checks & money orders are common. Unfortunately banks will cash them and then hold you responsible a week or more after the fact when the fake cashier's check or money order is discovered to be fraudulent.

  3. Requests to overpay for the boat and have excess money returned or given to a shipping company are almost always fraudulent -- never do this without consulting with your bank first. 99.9% of such requests represent an attempt at fraud; the scam is that the "buyer" sends you a fraudulent cashier's check, check, or money order, gets you to pay a part of it to either them or a third party which gives them the money, and then when the larger payment is discovered to be fraudulent and reversed by the bank, you are left out the money that was returned or given to the third party.

  4. Please always use caution and your best judgment if presented with a deal which doesn't seem logical, and be sure to talk with your bank to be sure all checks and transactions have been completed, cleared, and verified before releasing any property.

  5. Be especially careful of any transactions from overseas where such transactions might be reversed after some time due to fraud.

  6. Notice poor grammar, lack of knowledge of local geography, incorrect location names, made-up or incorrectly formatted names, and numerically- or otherwise-generated throw-away email addresses as easy but usually correct indications of a scam attempt.

  7. Be very careful of buyers or sellers using free email addresses (hotmail, yahoo, etc.)

  8. Look at the IP address included with the contact form, or the headers of the email, and use the www.arin.net whois to get a location of that IP address and see if it matches up with where the buyer says he is located (e.g. an IP that is assigned to Africa with a buyer that say's he is in Florida is a clear indication of a fraud attempt; likewise an IP address that is an open proxy most often indicates someone attempting a fraudulent communication)

  9. Contact the buyer or seller by (non-cell) landline phone as well as online to help confirm their identity.

  10. Always be sure payment is legitimate and that it has fully cleared and is non-fraudulent before releasing any property.

  11. sailboatlistings.com does not function as a broker nor are we involved in any communication or transaction between buyer and seller. See Terms of Use / Access Agreement

If you believe an ad is fraudulent

  1. If you see an ad on sailboatlistings.com that you believe is fraudulent, please contact us and give us the URL of the ad you believe is fraudulent so that we can remove it.
  2. If you have a boat listed and receive an email that you believe is an attempt at fraud, please contact us and also forward the full message(s) including headers and the IP of the sender so that we may block this person from further accessing our site. 

Specific Warnings

    There is an extremely high volume of fraud attempts from Indonesia and Batam.

    We hate the idea of singling out a whole region because of some bad apples, but at this point, our advice would be to Avoid any ads posted for boats supposedly from Batam / Indonesia or "buyers" from that region.

    And if a seller ever says the boat has been moved from the location that is listed, we would recommend breaking off communication and reporting the ad immediately so it can be deleted from the website.

    Indonesia and Batam are also sometimes abbreviated as BTM/INA. Because free email addresses (@ yahoo.com, yahoo.ca, hotmail,com, gmail.com, etc. are often an indication of a throwaway address used in a fraud attempt, the Indonesian scam-artists have also begun registering or stealing domains and setting up mini websites, though an inspection often reveals these shell-websites to be glaringly fake. One example of a fraud-site used for email fraud is e-tire.biz ; another fraud-site is indonesiatires.com )

    • Always check a land line phone number that matches the location of the boat to be sure the phone number is correct and that the location matches what is stated.
    • Use a "reverise phone directory" lookup site to verify the phone number given matches the location of the boat in the ad.
    • and always physically inspect any boat before any money ever changes hands.


If you have any suggestions for tips that should be added to this page to help other buyes and sellers buy and sell safely online and avoid fraud, please send them to us.

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