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Tips to Avoid Frauds and Scams When Buying a Boat

Buying a new boat can be a very exciting and exhilarating experience and for most buyers a safe and straightforward process when the proper steps are taken. But there are disreputable persons in society who seek to profit illegally and operate a range of scams to defraud others in many transactional situations. Buyers of all major goods need to be alert to frauds and scams in order avoid losing their money.

There are a number of schemes that have come to our attention recently and others that can occur at any time that we would like to highlight to increase awareness and hopefully assist our customers to avoid becoming a victim.

Fraudulent Invoices

There have been several incidents reported in the media recently of fraudulent invoice schemes which have left both buyers and sellers seriously out of pocket. The scheme involves hackers hacking into the email system of a supplier. When the supplier emails an invoice for work or goods which have been properly ordered and/or supplied to a customer, that email is intercepted by hackers.

The hackers alter the details on the invoice. Changing the bank account details where the customer, who is to be sent the email, is to pay the invoice. The invoice is then sent to the unsuspecting customer.

The business details are left the same, the customer knows the goods/services have been ordered/received and dutifully pays the invoice into the bank account as noted on the invoice. Totally unaware that this is not the account for the supplier.

The supplier, after not receiving payment from their customer after a certain time, commences chasing up the customer for payment. The customer insists payment has been made and has transaction as proof. Only when bank details are checked is the scam exposed. By that time, the perpetrator may have withdrawn all the monies and closed the account.

This has occurred with building trade type suppliers and also to two buyers of a well-known car make. So it can and is happening. Read more.

If purchasing a boat even from a reputable dealer or broker, which most in Australia are, it is advised to check all details of the invoice carefully and if any aspects look suspicious, contact the business the double check. Often a giveaway clue will be a different business name on the bank account to that of the supplying business.

When using Jade Boat Loans to handle your boat loan, we handle the settlement on your behalf. The settlement involves the lender issuing payment to the seller of your boat. Your Jade consultant liaises between seller and lender to ensure the settlement is prompt and transacted smoothly. This service provides our customers with finance professionals to support them and keeping a watch for any errors or other issues with the supplier invoice.

Checking Title and Ownership

Another important issue to keep a watchful eye on is rightful owner to sell the boat. This is particularly significant when buying second hand boats and even more important when purchasing online. Checking the registered owner of the boat against the seller’s ID is one of the services provided by Jade.

Jade consultants also check the PPSR – the Personal Property Securities Register. The PPSR is a register of goods that are under finance. When a borrower takes out a loan to purchase goods such as a boat, the lender will register their interest in the boat as security against the loan. When the loan is finalised, the security is removed.

When selling a boat under finance, the seller needs to finalise the loan before they can sell it to you. Having your Jade Boat Finance Broker check the PPSR and the boat registration it can avoid a customer purchasing a stolen vessel or a boat under finance.

Online Buying Tips

Buying boats online is a very popular practice. The online platforms are a great way to see a lot of boast for sale, both new and used, in one place and from the comfort of your own home. But committing to a purchase without physically inspecting the boat is strongly warned against.

Stories abound of fraud in online sales. People paying the money upfront only to find the goods they think they have purchased don’t even exist. Or they don’t exist in the condition as portrayed in the photos online.

Genuine sellers will always want to present their boat in the best possible light and will post the best photos. Seeing the boat in person may bring to your attention issues that may not have been covered in the listing description.

Consumers are covered by laws in regard to many issues around purchasing. But when fraudulent activities are involved, the police may not be able to track down the perpetrator and if they do, recovering your funds may be a difficult task.

Using a highly experienced loan lender such as Jade to arrange lending such as Secured Boat Finance, can also bring additional benefits in assisting you in these other areas.

Contact 1300 000 003 to assist with your marine lending requirements.

DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION AND SPECIFIC DETAILS CONTAINED IN THE CONTENT OF THIS ARTICLE HAVE BEEN PREPARED AND ARE PRESENTED PURELY AS GENERAL INFORMATION AND NOT INTENDED AS THE ONLY SOURCE OF FINANCIAL ADVICE FOR BOAT BUYERS AND LOAN BORROWERS. FOR THOSE THAT CONSIDER THEY REQUIRE SPECIFIC ADVICE, THEY SHOULD CONSULT WITH A FINANCIAL ADVISOR. LIABILITY IS NOT ACCEPTED IN REGARD TO ERRORS AND MISPRESENTED DATA AND DETAILS HEREIN.

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