The following is a Crime Alert Network Bulletin from the Wis. Department of Justice concerning a fraudulent boat sale/scam. If you have questions or information, please contact the Crime Alert Network at 608-240-3597, or use this e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Tennessee resident responded to a local Craigslist ad for a boat for sale with a Wisconsin title. The boat was advertised as being stored in Brookfield, Wis. The sale also involved a Wisconsin law firm to handle the transaction.
The "seller" stated that it was a mix-up that the boat appeared for sale nationwide on Craigslist. The seller wanted the asking price to be held by a Brookfield law firm. A copy of the title was provided to the buyer. The title is fraudulent. The Brookfield law firm does not exist. The buyer became suspicious and did not complete the transaction.
If you are aware of a similar scheme, please contact the Wisconsin Crime Alert Network.
The following are emails sent by the seller of the boat, who uses the name Tina:
"I'm sorry I did not answer right away, but I received a lot of emails concerning the boat, plus I encountered some problems with a previous buyer. The boat is currently stored at my summer house in Brookfield, WI. It has 76 hours, clean and clear title, no mechanical problems, no damages and it has always been stored indoors. I have all the manuals, keys and service records. I am not trying to get rid of it, but since my husband passed away last year, there is no one around to take care of it. He used to go boating with our grandchildren on Lake Michigan. The boat can be seen in Brookfield, but we need to arrange a meeting because I moved out to Anchorage, AK with my daughter. You can find more pictures here: Thanks, Tina"
"I'm sorry about the mix-up, I advertised it trough an add package. I was told that I would have national audience, but I never expected it to be listed all over Craigslist. Thanks, Tina"
"Before moving forward with this transaction I want to set some details, otherwise I really don't want to waste your time or mine. As I've told you in my first email, the boat is stored at my summer house so I need to return to Wisconsin to finish this deal. Two weeks ago, I flew for someone interested. He told me that he will be paying in cash for it, but it turned out he was a middleman. He offered me the asking price minus $8,000, take it or leave it. To avoid another trip for nothing, based on a buy/sell agreement, I want the asking price to be placed in a trust account with a local law firm before my return to Wisconsin. As soon as I have the confirmation from them, we can meet even next day in WI, or I can have it shipped to a local dealer close to you for an inspection. If the inspection finds any problems, you can either cancel the contract and get refunded, or I can pay for the repair invoice before the money is released. I hope that you understand that I'm 3,000 miles away, but as I've told you I'm ready to work with you on this deal to make it happen. Please let me know what you think, Tina"