Fraudulent narrowboat ads
INLAND WATERWAYS: A major narrowboat retailer and broker wants to spread the word about fraudulent advertising of narrowboats for sale, writes Harry Arnold.
Many of his own adverts have been copied recently on websites like ‘Friday-Ad’, ‘Loot’, ‘Gumtree’ and ‘Preloved’, plus even some on local city and town web sites in various parts of the country.
He says it is not the fault of these websites as the sheer scale of numbers only contacts mean that it is almost impossible to stop this kind of activity. But alerting prospective purchasers about the problem may deter the criminals involved.
If the advert is fraudulent, it seems the boat in question is usually under priced, for a quick sale, and to encourage potential viewers to send a deposit to hold the vessel before viewing it.
Boat buyers should not get into this situation. They should always go and see a boat before handing over any money and ask to see documentation - previous bill of sale, CRT license data/corresponds with owner, BSSC, mooring and boatyard bills and correspondence confirming ownership of the vessel.
They should also ask the supposed owner for photographic identification - passport or photo driving license - and evidence of address details.
Ideally, he says, they should buy a boat via an approved marine broker, boatyard or marina.
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