Scam buyers

I recently listed my kayak for sale and quickly got two scam offers – they say they will send a check, and then have their “agent” pick up the boat. The scam, I’m advised, involves overpaying to include shipping, then having you send the extra shipping money, after which you discover the check they send didn’t actually clear. You can tell by the odd wording of the offer. Just a warning…did not expect this from a site like Don’t they have bigger fish to go after?

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Their agent? Who has agents?

The Nigerian prince and the Ft. Hood soldier.

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That ancient scam is inescapable no matter what platform or site you are on. It’s up to us as consumers to be aware of the methods and simply delete any such communications and report them to the site admin. But even if they are able to remove the ID of the person(s) attempting the scam, it is easy for them to re-register under a new false name. Little that sites can do to control this stuff so you just have to be personally aware and vigilant.

It surprises me that there are still people that fall for this “I will send a check and my agent will pick up” scheme because it has been publicized by countless agencies for at least two decades.


That’s funny. The first guy claimed to be a deployed soldier at Ft Carson, and that’s why he had to deal with a third party agent.

Some people still fall for it or they would not keep doing it.

Seems like it’s almost always Ft. Carson. Curious.

I was just emailed by someone who is saying the same thing and will send an e check. I assume this is bogus.

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Forgot to mention. An e-check was part of the pitch. I was unaware of this scam, so gave the benefit of doubt to the buyer. But interestingly, the buyer never wanted to discuss paddling or boats or even quibble over price. I sent this to my financial adviser and he told me this was 100 percent bogus. If this were a scam directed at a large online selling group, I would not be surprised. But in this case, I assumed we’re just part of a friendly paddling community, right? Who would target us? haha.

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Gee, I’ve had a kayak listed in the classifieds and not one scam bite.

Maybe it’s because my ad includes: “Cash sale with payment due on delivery.”


That scam has been around for years . Obviosly it still works sometimes. Like Rookie said cash in person is the cure.

Yep. Definitely the solution. My challenge: selling a high performance racing kayak valued at over $3k. Cashier’s check? Maybe.

Sucker born every minute.

Good luck; small market.

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I usually say “Cash or PayPal only. Local pickup only; no shipping.” I still get the occasional scam response, but they’re easy to spot and easier to ignore.
Some years ago I used PayPal to buy a Seda Viking. It wasn’t $3K, but it wasn’t chump change either. The seller was happy with PayPal so I’ve given buyers that option since then. A couple of times prospective buyers asked about using other payment apps, but I’m just not that cool.


cashier’s checks can be forged or faked and that is often part of scams originating overseas by those claiming to be either military personnel or working for US contractors. That type of check used to be considered “like gold” and immediately negotiable, but I learned recently in the aftermath of a property sale that my bank will not allow disbursement from a cashier’s check for 5 business days until its source and legitimacy can be verified.

Woe stories of having “difficulty” arranging sales or shipments from those claiming to be military or contractors are always phony. I worked for international engineering and construction companies most of my career and also knew enough career military personnel to know that such people have access to resources to legitimately pay for and have items stored and shipped.

Shut down and break contact with anyone who uses that kind of complicated sob story.

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The scammers target EVERYBODY. They have algorithms set up that automatically scan for and detect any listing on line of anything for sale at substantial prices. Every time I have listed a kayak (or bicycle or even car) on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace I have received multiple versions of that scam within hours and sometimes minutes. I just delete them.


I just heard from the Ft Carson solider.

Just make up a name and tell the scammer he’s your brother in law at Fort Carson on the logistics and transport crew there who’ll confirm his identity and help him with shipment of the boat.

The claim to be in the military or “an overseas contractor” is the standard ploy of these bozos. Before I retired I worked for one of the largest international infrastructure engineering companies in the world which had projects in over 70 countries and often had contracts with US military bases here and abroad. I often used this ploy, though in my case I could just pull up from our internal contact database real contractor names that were connected with whatever place the scammer claimed to be serving and insist they contact them about facilitating a delivery. The scammers always disappeared once I pitched that to them.

I think we women tend to be more wary of this kind of rip-off attempt and recognize the telltale signs due to frequent exposure to the similar methods used by fraudsters seeking money through “romance” scams. Like most single women with a presence on Facebook, I get hit regularly by scam artists with obviously faked profiles trying to get me to add them as a “friend” or communicate (i.e. flirt) on line. Virtually all of these a**holes fabricate identities as US military personnel (usually officers, sometimes using the identity of real ones) or claim to work as contractors on military projects. I always report them to FB, which usually removes the profiles, but of course the scammers just reconfigure and repost them.

The “military romance” scam is a hoary old one and contact (if the victim takes the bait) quickly leads to requests for money they claim to “need” for necessities that anyone with a brain knows are actually provided to service people or any contractor employee by the organization they work for. But still, lonely hearts send and lose millions of dollars in “pity” money to these thieves every year. And doubtless many sellers of kayaks, canoes, bicycles, motorcycles, and other big ticket items have also lost money and sensitive personal credit data to these schemes.