Back story. A few years ago I was selling my International Canoe and a ‘buyer’ tried the the old cheque scam. I got phone calls at two in the morning and eventually a cheque which I took straight to the bank and reported as fraud which was confirmed.
My RS Vision was for sale on Apolloduck and an enquiry came in, strange email address, apparently from Germany and was along the lines of ‘I want to buy you boat, give me you telephone number’. I was very suspicious but without giving my number played along. The buyer was traveling around the U.K. buying boats, had a trailer in Derby but was in Edinburgh and must buy the boat on Tuesday etc etc, I was very suspicious now. Just for a laugh I asked for a selfie from Edinburgh and a picture of him sailing. This all came, with photos of the trailer and a bit more stuff. With his name I found he had sailed at Kiel week and did seam to run a business in Germany selling second hand boats. I sent my phone number and after a very long chat, boy could be talk, we agreed to meet early Wednesday. He wanted to pay via PayPal, suspicious I got him to pay me a pound via this method before we met.
Anyway he seamed a nice guy, 71 years old sails a Musto Skiff or a Contender if it is very windy. The boat was packed up and he disappeared into his car to transfer the money. Very long delay, £280 goes into my PayPal account, few minutes later £730, still not enough. More waiting, sheepishly he walks over big story of over the limit on the cards connected to PayPal. Lots of strange schemes, I can give you my second passport etc etc, I say nothing, more ideas, but eventually or ‘I could take you to a cash machine’. ‘That works’ I say.
At the cash machine, ‘I have Euros, I could give you Euros, saves me commission…….OK pounds.’ Quickly I squirrel the first £500 away. Next card, he has lots, the screen is in German and money doesn’t come out. Eventually he figures the card limit is in Euros and I get another £430. I have the rest in cash he says and starts counting out the rest. As he hands me the last note I say ‘oh that’s a Scottish one’. Well I thought he would just collapse into a sobbing mess as a quickly explain it is OK, it is legal in England.
Eventually we part, he is heading to Hayling Island via Derby, Whitby, Scarborough and I suspect a few more stops. The cash goes straight into the bank and I spent a nervous three days checking the money transfers out of PayPal. I am worried that there may be a away he can get it back out of PayPal, but I have checked and check and am sure he can’t.
There is relief when finally the bank balance jumps. Perhaps I was over cautious and probably a bit demanding and rude but I had told him about the earlier fraud attempt and Dieter took my behaviour well.
So the Vision is gone, and though many people are negative of ‘plastic boats’ it served us well. It got Erin into sailing, she had fun sailing with friends and eventually on the trapeze. I loved it single handed especially with the kite up, a very versatile boat. It was maintenance free, I only replaced one line, the jib furl line which snapped, I think it wasn’t rigged correctly and was rubbing on something. With a few house hold cleaners the hull was as good new when she drove away.