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State officials warn of boat buying scam on Craigslist


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - State officials say the latest consumer scam involves people who’ve lost thousands of dollars buying boats advertised on Craigslist.

According to the state’s consumer protection agency, buyers are asked to transfer money to an escrow account – and the money then goes to an overseas scammer.

Wisconsin officials said an Illinois buyer lost $20,000 by answering a Craigslist ad about a boat for sale in the Badger State. And a Tennessee buyer obtained a fraudulent boat title just before getting wise to the scam, and backing out of a payment.

State officials say you should always remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Other warning signs including being asked to pay into an escrow account with a wire transfer or a prepaid debit card. Also, those who say Craigslist offers buyer protections are wrong.

More information is available from the state Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.