Boat Sale Scam!
For anyone out there selling your boat, be aware that there are scam artists out there ready to take advantage of you. This is a true story that is on going at this time. Please read and take note.
Bass N Edge
As written by Dennis and Beth Hoy:
We got scammed out of over $20,000.00 a couple of weeks ago. We had put our boat on westernbass.com and got an offer. They offered $24,500 and we told them that we would take $26,500. They (Margaret & David Adam) asked for instructions to send the payment. We checked with our bank to make sure money could not be withdrawn from the bank if we gave the information. We were assured that it couldn't. After sending information and informing the bank (State National Bank) that we were looking for a check for $26,500, we went to California for New Years.
When we returned late on the night of January 3, we had a message on the answering machine from our Elephant Butte branch manager that a check for $46,600 had been deposited into our account. We called the bank the next morning to see if the wrong amount had been quoted but were told that it was that amount. We got a call from this David guy and he said that the extra amount was for shipping the boat overseas and he wanted us to Western Union the $21,100 to him than Saturday.
Immediately red flags went up so I called the branch manager at home and asked her if it was a cashier's check or what, and was it a good check. She said she'd call me right back (she had to call the bank and do some checking). In the return call she said that she felt certain that it was a certified check as no hold had been put on the check so it was good. She even told me that she had instructed the teller at the drive through to let us come into the bank and issue us a certified check is we asked. Normally they don't do this on Saturday.
We decided not to send the money, as we wanted to check again and have it sent from the bank. Dennis went in on Monday, the 6th, and asked again if the check was good. Again she reassured him that it was and the $21,100 (less wire transfer fees) was sent. Dennis also paid off the boat we were selling.
He then tried to get her to make a loan for the cost of the new Mercury. She couldn't figure out how to do it so after 30 minutes he told her he would bring in our $4,000 CD and with that and the extra money from the loan pay off, he would write a check to Mercury.
Monday, the 13, after I'd gone to the bank to get the title to the boat, she called and said that something was wrong with the check and she wouldn't know what it was until she got the original document late that afternoon.
I was in tears and went to the High School where Dennis was substituting. We went to the President of the bank and were told that there must be some mistake, as the bank could not wire transfer money that was not available. The branch manager called later that afternoon and said that the check had bounced and that we owed the bank $33,544 and she suggested that we start making arrangements to get a secured loan to pay the debts.
We'd never seen the check. We went to the local DA and told our story, then went with the investigator to the bank to get the check. We finally got a loan Friday for $61,000 to pay off what the bank says we owe and to have enough money to pay for the new boat we had already ordered. HELL OF A MESS!!!!! We have hired an attorney but haven't heard from him in a week.
BASS Invitational Champion, April 1998
Elephant Butte, NM