Canoe buyer, or scammer?

I’m selling a used canoe through the classifieds here.

Get a message from a “Roland Morrison” saying he’s interested, and is it still available.

I reply “yeah it’s still available. Any questions? Want to come by and have a look at it?”

Then “Roland” replies with this:

"Thanks for the update am ok with the price and condition currently out of town due to the nature of my job military now at Fort Carson Army Base Colorado my mode of payment will be a bank issued certified check and only have access to email for now.I need your name and address so that the check can be mail to you also my shipper will come for pick up after check clears at your bank.Let me know how you will like to proceed with this and get the payment. Roland "

So many red flags there!

I am 100% certain this is some sort of scam, but I can’t figure out exactly how it works.

Anybody have any ideas?

Classic scam. This script has been around for as long as Craigslist. The fake “buyer” is always either “in the military” or an “engineer/oil rig worker/project manager” working overseas so you never meet or talk to them in person or on the phone. Sometimes they will send you a Faebook name/account but those are always faked too (note the lack of “friends” and posts on them.)

The “cashier’s check” that the “buyer” will send or the “shipper” will bring you will be accurate looking but totally counterfeit AND it will be for a higher amount than you agreed to sell the boat (or car or bike or diamond ring or whatever) for – the “shipper rep” will claim that was a mistake that they have no control over and they will ask you to cash it at your bank and refund them the difference, usually $1000 or more. If they get the cash from you (if your bank falls for the faked check and sometimes they do until it comes back as fake and they debit your account) chances are the fake “shipper rep” won’t even come back for the boat though they will claim they will do so later. If they do take it you will be out both the boat and a bunch of money.

These scams mostly originate in Africa or Eastern Europe. They are surprisingly successful, people are gullible.

If you want to yank their chain, give them a fake name and address and tell them to send the check there. At least they will waste time and money for a little while in which they won’t be seeking dupes that fall for their scam. One of my friends did that a few years ago when the same scam was sent to him regarding a motorcycle he had for sale. He told them to make the check out to “Ima Phroddster” with the address of the regional FBI field office (here is a link to their locations if you want to use one.)


I also have a canoe for sale and heard from Roland. He wanted a phone number to contact me even though one was clearly there to read in the ad. After I provided it he failed to call but I have seen an increase in robocalls on that number.

Seems the last safe place to sell a canoe may not be so anymore.



On the other hand I will relate a similar story. I was selling a truck mounted snowplow for 500 bucks and I guy contacted me with an iffy story and I wasn’t about to give him info so he told me the only way he could pay me would be if I could pick up the check and he would get it later. I told him a could and of course he was out of town but he would have a man he works with leave the check inside the seat of a fork truck that the seat was split and it sat out front of the office to a trailer sales place. I said ok. So after work I go to this place and there is a fork truck no one around and the seat has a slit ripped in it I reach in and there is a check to me for 500 bucks. So I cash it and it clears and I wait and wait and wait to hear from the guy. A few months pass and I reply back to the CL ad asking if he is still alive. He said he was so sorry he lost my email and had no way to come and get it. I said well are you coming now and he said no he has been relocated and has no use for the plow and I should just keep the money and sell it again. So I did the next guy was normal came out and looked at it didn’t seem like he could afford it and offered me 400 and I took it.

The internet is the craziest place I know.


thanks you guys.

Roland must a rabid boat collector because he sent me same scam for a canoe I too have on P.Com classifieds. Will just delete. I did respond to similar Ft Carson ruse a few years back by informing buyer of great coincidence that I was there too to visit family and could he please meet me at the base bowling alley to pay in person.


A little late… but I also got this message about a kayak I am selling. I also looked up the number that texted me, it’s an escort lol