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Old 04-15-2020, 11:13 AM   #1
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Another Client Almost Scammed

I've got a listing that's going to survey, (yep, folks are still buying boats), next week and the owner calls me up in a panic. He tells me he forgot to renew his CG Documentation, but don't worry he just went online and renewed and paid for expedition. Right then I knew what he had done. I asked him what he paid and ready for this? $460 bucks! You got it, he went to one of the look a like Coast Guard documentation web sites. After I scolded him for not calling his broker first, he was able to get a refund and all was well. But they almost got hundreds of dollars from another victim.

If you're renewing or requesting new documentation make sure you're at the right web site. If there's not a .mil in the address, you're at a scammer's site. Also, another little tidbit. If you have your boat listed for sale with a broker, don't spend a dime on it without consulting your broker.
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Old 04-15-2020, 11:37 AM   #2
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Scammers giving a refund?
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Old 04-15-2020, 11:52 AM   #3
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I've got a listing that's going to survey, (yep, folks are still buying boats), next week and the owner calls me up in a panic. He tells me he forgot to renew his CG Documentation, but don't worry he just went online and renewed and paid for expedition. Right then I knew what he had done. I asked him what he paid and ready for this? $460 bucks! You got it, he went to one of the look a like Coast Guard documentation web sites. After I scolded him for not calling his broker first, he was able to get a refund and all was well. But they almost got hundreds of dollars from another victim.

If you're renewing or requesting new documentation make sure you're at the right web site. If there's not a .mil in the address, you're at a scammer's site. Also, another little tidbit. If you have your boat listed for sale with a broker, don't spend a dime on it without consulting your broker.
They aren't scammers.

They are legitimate businesses offering to do something simple for you for an exorbitant amount.

You get the documentation as promised.
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Old 04-15-2020, 12:08 PM   #4
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They are legitimate businesses offering to do something simple for you for an exorbitant amount.

Years ago when paying under the table was in vogue (still lots of that going on around me here on Vancouver Island), some scammers would tell you by paying them under the table you could save lots of money. The problem was they were quoting more for the job than would have been charged if the service had been properly contracted out. The person naively believed the quoted price was below cost.
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Old 04-15-2020, 12:32 PM   #5
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They aren't scammers.

They are legitimate businesses offering to do something simple for you for an exorbitant amount.

You get the documentation as promised.
Agreed. In a capitalist economy, you're allowed to charge a fee for goods provided and services rendered. You're also allowed to make a profit. Whether the buyer feels the goods and/or services are being provided at a reasonable cost, and whether the vendor is charging 'too much', is strictly a matter of opinion.

It would be a scam if monies were paid, and no goods provided or services rendered. Lacking situational awareness and failing to do ones due diligence is the problem here.
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Old 04-15-2020, 02:18 PM   #6
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You guys are right, scammers is probably not the right description. I still believe they're taking advantage of folks. My client thought it was the correct site because it had .us in the address. In my mind that's kinda deceiving.
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Old 04-15-2020, 02:38 PM   #7
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You guys are right, scammers is probably not the right description. I still believe they're taking advantage of folks. My client thought it was the correct site because it had .us in the address. In my mind that's kinda deceiving.
Yes, they really do a good job of making people believe that they are official - including a neat logo at the top of the letter that looks like a US government logo. Then their wording is vague, with the fact that they are a third party company in very small print.
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Old 04-15-2020, 02:39 PM   #8
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Instead of calling them "scammers" (which, as has been pointed out, they are not either technically or legally), I refer to them as "unscrupulous". They make A LOT of money taking advantage of unsuspecting people.

Sidclark's client was likely able to get a refund if he quickly contested the charge within a certain period of time. I have a friend who fell for the same ruse last year. However, in that particular case they even had the audacity to tack on "late fees" as she had let the documentation lapse. She told me what happened a few days later, and by that time even AmEx would not help her to reverse the charges. So she was out close to $500.
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Old 04-15-2020, 03:10 PM   #9
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It all sounds like shopping at West Marine.
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Old 04-15-2020, 03:49 PM   #10
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Instead of calling them "scammers" (which, as has been pointed out, they are not either technically or legally), I refer to them as "unscrupulous". They make A LOT of money taking advantage of unsuspecting people.

Sidclark's client was likely able to get a refund if he quickly contested the charge within a certain period of time. I have a friend who fell for the same ruse last year. However, in that particular case they even had the audacity to tack on "late fees" as she had let the documentation lapse. She told me what happened a few days later, and by that time even AmEx would not help her to reverse the charges. So she was out close to $500.
He did contest it right after he hung up from me, so that was about a half an hour after the transaction. I advised him to call the credit card company first, but not sure who in the end refunded him. I'll have to call him and find out, I'm curious myself.
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Old 04-15-2020, 04:07 PM   #11
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I agree that it is not technically a scam. But where I see the shadiness is in making it seem like you are on the "official" site (according to what people are saying who have seen it).

I don't mind paying more for something if I have decided it is worth it to me for one reason or another. But that's done out in the open. I know West Marine is West Marine, and I may pay more for the convenience (or not). But I don't think they are someone else.

So, apparently perfectly legal, but to my mind, a bit "oily" due to method used.
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Old 04-15-2020, 04:39 PM   #12
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They aren't scammers.

They are legitimate businesses offering to do something simple for you for an exorbitant amount.

You get the documentation as promised.
Personally, I think of them as scammers because they do everything they can think of to make themselves look like they are an official governmental agency, if not USCG itself. Maybe fraudsters is a better word.
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Old 04-15-2020, 05:24 PM   #13
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What also concerns me is that the owner was distressed about being late with his documentation. There is no hurry, they won't come looking for you of your paperwork is late, especially nowadays.

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Old 04-15-2020, 05:51 PM   #14
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Scammers giving a refund?
You'd be surprised what happens with the threat of a significant law suit from an attorney and posting their company's name on a computer site such as this site. And turn their sorry ass into the USCG.
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Old 04-15-2020, 06:23 PM   #15
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You'd be surprised what happens with the threat of a significant law suit from an attorney and posting their company's name on a computer site such as this site. And turn their sorry ass into the USCG.
Nope.

The USCG are fully aware already.

These are legitimate companies offering a legitimate service, regardless of what we think of them.

https://content.govdelivery.com/acco...letins/1a25ee8
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Old 04-15-2020, 08:40 PM   #16
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The USCG isn't above shortening your renewal period if you pay early.. Lost two months registration period myself. For renewal, don't do it before six weeks of expiration..
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Old 04-15-2020, 09:46 PM   #17
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Nope.

The USCG are fully aware already.

These are legitimate companies offering a legitimate service, regardless of what we think of them.

https://content.govdelivery.com/acco...letins/1a25ee8
They are walking right up to the line. Do you honestly doubt that most of their revenue comes from people who believe they are dealing with USCG, or at least a non-profit gov agency? Do you not recognize their subterfuge? Is that behavior you would engage in? Be proud of? Tell you children that you make money that way? Let's call a spade a spade. These people are despicable crooks (or at least crooked), but caveat emptor.
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Old 04-16-2020, 01:36 AM   #18
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... Let's call a spade a spade. These people are despicable crooks (or at least crooked), but caveat emptor.
They are, beyond doubt, scammers.
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Old 04-16-2020, 05:29 AM   #19
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They are walking right up to the line. Do you honestly doubt that most of their revenue comes from people who believe they are dealing with USCG, or at least a non-profit gov agency? Do you not recognize their subterfuge? Is that behavior you would engage in? Be proud of? Tell you children that you make money that way? Let's call a spade a spade. These people are despicable crooks (or at least crooked), but caveat emptor.

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They are, beyond doubt, scammers.
They can clearly be found - so why haven't they been charged?
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:45 AM   #20
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They are walking right up to the line. Do you honestly doubt that most of their revenue comes from people who believe they are dealing with USCG, or at least a non-profit gov agency? Do you not recognize their subterfuge? Is that behavior you would engage in? Be proud of? Tell you children that you make money that way? Let's call a spade a spade. These people are despicable crooks (or at least crooked), but caveat emptor.
Exactly.

It's a scam. They're not giving you anything of value, and they're misleading you.

Just because they've hired a team of lawyers to ensure they can get away with it doesn't change the fact that it's a scam.

If it makes you feel any better, call it a "con." To me, same thing.
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