Fortunately, most buyers are honest. For the few who are not, beware of anyone who:

  1. Asks for your bank information or PIN ( will NEVER ask for your bank information or PIN.)

  2. Sends an email with links for you to follow, usually to a bank or escrow service (third party money holding service). This is commonly known as "phishing." Clicking on links in these emails could transfer your financial information to a scammer. Be sure that if you do receive this type of email, you check the domain name in the link to verify its authenticity or call the company with which you are advertising your boat.

  3. Makes an offer on your boat without viewing it, or makes and offer for more than the asking price.

  4. Asks you to send a cheque first. The story usually includes someone who owes the "buyer" more money than you are asking for your boat. The third party is supposed to pay you directly.

  5. Sends you a forged cheque, hoping you won’t wait for it to clear before delivering the boat.

  6. Uses a middle man to negotiate.

  7. Offers you a payment plan that theoretically nets you a higher price.

Orkney 452: tempting 15 footers


  1. We do not ask for your personal or financial information via email.

  2. We do not buy or sell boats on behalf of our customers.

  3. We do not offer shipping services.

  4. If you received any correspondence that offers any of the above, it is a scam. Please report it to us immediately at with "Fraud Alert" in the subject line.

Where to report online fraud?
If you think you've been the victim of a scam, report it immediately to If it’s an online scam, you should also report it to Action Fraud (the UK's National Fraud Reporting Centre).

At, we want your boat selling experience to be as straightforward as possible. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about selling a boat safely online.

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Read our full guides to buying a boat and selling a boat.

Written by: Carol Cronin
Carol Cronin has published several novels about the Olympics, sailing, hurricanes, time travel, and old schooners. She spends as much time on the water as possible, in a variety of boats, though most have sails.