Current Scam for Online Boat Sales

Over the past 16 years of doing business, Boat History Report has helped thousands of customers avoid being scammed, but we have never seen a scam quite this elaborate.  More than likely, by the time you’re reading this article, the scammers will have changed their name and the original website, will have been taken down.  However, scammers being scammers means it will be back up soon, just with a different name.  We will walk you through what to look for to avoid this type of scam in the future.

*Update, as of March 2021: we have been alerted that Masp Motors has changed their name and website to

*Update, as of April 2021: we have been alerted that Auto Trader Garage has changed their name and website to (Glantu Motors).

*Update, as of May 2021: we have been alerted that GlantuMotors has changed their name and website to (Capital Depot Center). They are also operating under Roscoe Automotive and Co (

*Update, as of June 2021: we have been alerted that (Capital Depot Center) is no longer operating. However, they are still operating under Roscoe Automotive and Co ( as well as Air Pure Auto (

Brief overview of the suspected scam:

  • Suspected scammers post boat listings on Craigslist, copied from older legitimate listings that have since sold and been taken down.
  • Interested buyer contacts the seller and asks for more details.  The response seems legit, answers your questions, and provides you with an inventory number to search for more details on XYZ site.
  • You go to XYZ site which would fool even the savviest shopper with its reviews, contact information, recently sold listings, beautifully done website so you feel good about this. And then you realize you were asking about a boat in one state but according to the website, this boat is actually located in a different state.  
  • You do a quick google search and find tons of “reputable” sites with glowing reviews so once again you feel good.  
  • You call the number and you get a recording saying they are too busy and to try later.  If you chat in, they tell you to make an appt 2-3 weeks away but that they can’t promise someone won’t buy the boat first.  However, you can complete a bank transfer and the boat will be shipped within 3-5 days and they have a 7 day money back guarantee.  If you want to proceed that way, they require that you register in order to get the bank information.
  • Once you register, they send you an email confirming the registration and later an email with an invoice for payment containing instructions for wiring the funds.

Things to look for in a Craigslist ad:

  • How many days has the ad been up – in todays climate well priced or below market priced boats have been selling fast so a listing that’s up for a long time could be a red flag.
  • Does the model, length, year, and engine all exist- there wasn’t a 263 Walkaround produced in 1993.  We recommend NADA Guides to verify possible models and engines.
  • How many images are provided?  This person is willing to write at length but will only provide 6 images-  limiting photos in a listing is common so that they can email you more photos when you ask which makes it seem like they went out and took the photos just for you.
  • Can you see a state registration number, vessel name and hailing port, or HIN in the photos?  If you can see the registration number or HIN, you can verify it at  If you can’t see that information, ask for it.  
  • Can you see registration numbers on nearby vessels or identifiers to show location information?  This boat is listed as being in Baton Rouge but a few other boats in the photos have NY registration numbers
  • How is the price?  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  

Things to look for in any email communication:

  • Do they immediately tell you to go to another website to see more photos or more information?  Do they answer your questions?  Send more photos?
  • How quick did they respond? In this scenario, typically the response is a couple of weeks.  Do they respond quickly to follow up emails?

Things to look for on the sellers website:

This one almost had us.  They made an excellent website and used all sorts of tricks to make it hard to research.  But, they weren’t quite good enough:

  • Google the physical address – does it exist?  If so, don’t be afraid to call businesses near it to ask about it.  Do they have a “social” presence? This company does not have any social media sites – unheard of for large boat businesses.
  • Use a Whois tool (such as to look up when the site was originally purchased and created.  In the case of, the website was just purchased 2/19/21, even though the copyright says 2013-2021 on the bottom of the website.
  • Reverse Google image search the images to see if they come up anywhere else.  Depending on how far the site has gone to avoid being discovered, this might be tricky but we can help.  In this case, an image on their website is actually from a dealership in Pompano Beach Florida.
  • Search their other listings – this site only allows you to look at a couple of “recently sold” listings but requires an inventory number to view any of their “other listings”.  We were able to identify two of the boats in their recently sold section as boats sold in January and February of 2020, and NOT by MaspMotors. Fishy, right?
  • Check registration numbers in the listings – although they attempted to blur out or remove parts of the numbers (why would they do that?), you can tell they are all Florida boats.  Why are they being sold in Montana?  You also don’t need to visit Montana to know that they don’t have palm trees.
  • Check the “about us” page – a forum user on “TheHullTruth” pointed out a significant typo that has since been corrected:
  • Do the photos all appear to be stock images?  If you Google their names, do they exist?  Such high profile individuals with such outstanding resumes surely have LinkedIn pages- or do they? You may also notice that Darrin is later referred to as Leland and Tracie is referred to Kay (don’t be surprised if by the time you’re reading this, they have already corrected their mistakes):
  • Check for reviews on social media websites, LinkedIn, local BBB or other local commerce websites as well as Google.  This company actually goes to extreme lengths by imitating major websites such as CarGurus, The Yellow Pages, The Truth About Cars,, TrustPilot, as well as at least 50+ more.  For each, they buy a cheap domain and build out the page to look identical to an actual page from the site they are ripping off.  If you click on any of the links on the fake page, it will take you to the real website, and away from the cheap URL their clone was built on.  You can see an example of the site below.  Pay close attention to how they copied a page directly from but changed locations and dates for posters, and details to be specific to the site they are currently using (i.e.,, etc…).  If you don’t pay attention, it would be very easy to mistake the fake site for an actual forum post on  Always check the URL to be sure you are on the REAL site and not a clone.
  • Also, compare the website create date to the date of the reviews – Glantumotors was created 2/2021 but the reviews are from 2018- How would that be possible?  

Additional ways to identify suspected internet boat sales fraud:

  • Does the deal seem too good to be true (i.e. price is too low or incentives to buying “right now”)?  If so, well, you know how the saying goes…   
  • Be sure to view the boat in person-  don’t provide any payment until you have personally viewed the boat.  If the boat is in another state, you can hire someone to inspect the vessel, or do a live FaceTime walkthrough of the boat.  There is no legitimate reason the seller can’t provide this.
  • Looking at the registration number on the boat, does the state that issued it match the state the boat is being sold in? (i.e. FL numbers on the boat but the boat is currently located in NY).  You can also view current and past state registration details on the Boat History Report to help you verify if everything the seller says makes sense.
  • Ask the seller to provide a copy of the title and their drivers license to verify that the information on the title matches the information on the sellers drivers license. If they won’t provide photos of the title and drivers license or as a secondary verification, ask the seller when they bought the boat.  Then use Boat History Report to verify that the title issue date or purchase date matches what the seller claims.  
  • Verify that every single detail of the money wiring instructions match.  In the case of Glantumotors, they provide you with an address for a bank supposedly in Illinois.  However, the address is actually for a grocery store, and the routing number is for a bank in San Diego, CA.  Tell your bank you’re buying a boat off the internet and ask them to verify all of the details carefully and to contact the receiving bank to verify the details as well to ensure it’s not fraud. 
  • Take screenshots of EVERYTHING.  Every email, every attachment in an email, every webpage you visit from every link you’ve clicked, every chat conversation you have- everything.  These websites disappear overnight so if you’re not taking screenshots as you go, you will not have anything to provide authorities to help you recover your funds.  

Other names potentially associated with this suspected scam:

  • Prestige Automotive Traders ( -
  • TDG Depot (
  • Komodo Marina (
  • Autos By Price (
  • Car Auto Spot (
  • Auto Safe Dropship (
  • Easy Cars Dropship (
  • ROSCOE Automotive and Consignment (
  • Motors Yard Point Sales (
  • Prime Auto Recon (
  • Erbil Motors Depot (
  • DACS or Dimarco Auto Consignment & Sales (
  • Online Safe Depot (
  • AutoZirkus Consignment and Sales (
  • MantisAuto Consignment and Sales
  • WozziMotors & Consignment (
  • Motor Yacht Point Sales (
  • Car Country Auto (
  • DTC Motors Group (
  • Air Pure Auto (
  • Trade Depot Center (

Examples of real sites versus the suspected scammers fake sites used to post fake reviews:

Always pay attention to the URL – as mentioned above, scammers will buy similar URL’s and create replicas of legitimate sites, but post fake reviews to trick potential buyers into thinking their website is not a scam.

Real site: vs fake site:

Real site: vs fake site:

Real site: vs fake site:

If you suspect you might have been a victim of fraud, contact your local law enforcement department immediately.  Also contact your bank to see if there is anything they can do.  File a report with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (

If we can help you or if you have been a victim or have any additional information on suspected crimes, please contact us at

Forum threads discussing scam

Email examples

Below are examples of email communications we’ve received from other victims. If you receive an email communication that is similar to these, please be wary. We can try to help you identify the fraud- just email us at

Email Example 1:

Hi, my situation is a little bit difficult because of my job, but I did my best to make this deal happen. I’m working for American Airlines and I’m out of state, so I won’t be able to take care of the deal in person. Due to the fact that this is a large transaction I picked a local company (Elite Transportation) to manage and handle the transaction, so my presence is not necessary. The boat will be delivered from Cheyenne, WY (it is now stored) directly to your address with all the papers you need for ownership transfer and you will have a 5 days period to test and inspect the boat. After this 5 days period you will inform Elite Transportation if you want to keep the boat or not and ONLY if you agree to keep it they will transfer the money into my account, if not you will get a FULL REFUND from them within 24 hours. The contract with them includes free delivery and also if you refuse acceptance of the boat I will be responsible to cover the costs to bring it back. This is not a blind transaction, you can physically see the boat before committing to buy and to eliminate any concerns.
What I recommend is that we have them send you the paperwork, so you can see for yourself how it works and be able to contact them personally. In order to ask them to fill the documents I will have to provide them your full name, address and phone number, so if you are interested please get back to me with those info asap.

Hope we can do business, thank you!

Example 2:

All options are in working order. There are no structural or electrical problems. The interior is in nice condition. No mechanical issues at all. She starts easily and restart easily all the day. There aren’t any service indicators or warning lights on (meets description and pictures). All service records and owner manuals are available. Clean and clear title, no liens (ready for a quick sale). Please check the link below to see the pictures, specifications/description, a summary inspection report, etc.:
The boat can be seen at the local CDC warehouse (I suppose you know Capital Depot Center).
I left it in their lot because we got a great deal on a different one (keeping them both is not an option, have to pay for the other soon). Also due to the COVID-19 pandemic I prefer to avoid personal meeting, therefore we have signed a consignment agreement with these guys for its sale.
For inspection/pick up and payment, all you have to do is to contact CDC and schedule an appointment. All their contact info are available on the website (phone numbers, live chat, office locations, etc.), in the contact us section. Just provide them my name as seller when contacting them and they will provide further assistance.
In case you want to have it shipped, as I have membership with CDC ( I’ve bought through them before and I’m buying the new boat through them too), I can ship up to 500 miles free of charge (over, extra fees will apply, $1.15 per mile).
If this option suits to your needs, then all you have to do, is to go on the website to buyer registration page and request the purchase. Just fill out the requested information on that page, and within a maximum of 24 hours, an invoice regarding the purchase will be issued to you. The invoice should contain detailed information about the transaction, like insurance, shipping process, bill of sale, payment instructions, etc.. Basically all you need to know about your purchase.
That’s essentially the online buying process but I should also mention that, when purchasing, you get 7 day money back guarantee, which costs nothing and should give you the chance to decide on the boat, even before I get paid for it. The pre-delivery inspection will have an CDC representative on site who should answer your questions and show you everything works. The boat was also pre-inspected before being listed for sale.
To end, the entire purchase process (payment options, shipping, guarantees, return policy, etc.) is described on the website, on the how it works page. Just read this page to better understand the process, I’m sure they do a better job explaining things than I do.
That’s all for now, but if you have questions, I’ll be more than happy to assist.

Scott Gruve

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

New Boat Titles Continue to Increase YTD

2021 is off to a great start with Florida continuing to see YOY increases in new titles being issued with January up 10.6% and February up 23.7%, for an overall 17.1% increase YTD.

This data is generated from our database of over 120 million unique records, with over 21 million unique Boats. If your business is looking for more specific market data, please reach out to discuss your unique needs. #BoatsCantTalk #DataAlwaysDoes #BoatingIndustry #QuarenSEA #BoatHistoryReport

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Deliberate or Innocent – You be the judge!

In the normal course of business, we come across all sorts of different types of things including fraud, scams, deliberate deceitfulness, and sometimes it’s just honest ignorance with no intentional wrongdoing. In today’s finding, we’ll present the facts and let you be the judge.

The listing:…/mikelson-61-sportfisher…/

The Facts:

– Prior to 2004, this boat was issued a Delaware state assigned HIN

– In October 2004, the boat was purchased, and then titled and registered in Florida using the Delaware HIN

– In late 2018, the boat was damaged during a hurricane

– In March of 2019, the boat was offered for sale (using the Delaware HIN) as a hurricane damaged boat with structural damage to the bottom

– In April 2019, the boat was purchased by the current owner

– In October 2019, the boat was registered using the Delaware HIN.

– In September 2020, the HIN was changed in the Florida registration and title records

– Shortly after the registration records were changed, the boat was and still is offered for sale without any disclosure of it’s hurricane damaged past

Typically, updating the HIN in the registration records would make it difficult to trace it’s past. However, we have developed a unique system in which we can match up key points of data, thereby permanently linking the HIN associated with the damage to the HIN the boat is currently registered with.

Deliberate or Innocent- tell us what you think! #BoatsCantTalk #BoatHistoryReport #YouBeTheJudge

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Buyer Beware – Official looking documentation paperwork charging 3x’s the renewal rate

BoatUS and the US Coast Guard want boaters to know that renewing your USCG documentation directly with the National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) only costs $26. If you receive a notice in the mail asking for more than that, it’s not your official renewal notice but rather a notice from a third party vendor. The USCG has taken steps to ensure this kind of soliciting stops by removing owners names and addresses from their database, but it could take years before this kind of thing fully comes to an end.

Read the full story here:

 #BoatsCantTalk #BoatHistoryReport #USCG #CoastGuard #CoastGuardDocumentation #BoatUS #ProtectBoaters #boating #yachting #ScammersonlyscamondaysthatendinY

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What the pandemic taught us about handling stress and how boating, yes boating, curbs the impact

See the original om

Did you know that in 1911, a surgeon named Richard Clement Lucas predicted that by 2020, human feet would be comprised of one big toe only? Or that in 1900, John Elfreth Watkins, Jr., the curator of mechanical technology at the Smithsonian Institution, predicted that the letters C, X, and Q would be abandoned because they were “unnecessary”? These are just a few of the numerous predictions that have been made throughout the years; however, what none of these alleged soothsayers did predict were mask mandates, stay-at-home orders, and a crippling pandemic that would bring the world to its knees  However, amid the stress and burnout that has persisted to impact our mental health and emotional well-being, humans are, by nature, creatives. This pandemic forced us to reimagine the definition of fun and how we spend our free time. Boating was an answer.

According to research reported in Boating Industry Magazine, your brain on a boat is happier and the activity itself is one of the best ways to access the wellness benefits that water provides. One of the most popular sounds of ambient noise is the sound of waves gently crashing on a shore due to its ability to put you in a relaxed state. “Simply the mere sight and sound of water promotes wellness” said Wallace J. Nichols, author of the bestseller “Blue Mind”. As the research highlights, it triggers a biological response that lowers cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, and increases serotonin, the “happy chemical” that aids in relaxation. 

So, it should be no surprise that the boating industry, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), experienced record growth for new boat sales in 2020- a year that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) point out that our mental health has been “languishing” due to Covid-19. This growth is also shown in data collected and analyzed by our own organization, Boat History Report, which provides a service that is similar to Carfax but for the boating industry. According to our state title and registration data, after a brief initial decline of new boat titles being issued, we have continued to see an enormous increase in year-over-year new boat registrations and titles being issued.   Americans are looking for an escape from the stress of the pandemic – they want to unplug, disconnect, and momentarily forget – things that are hard to do when tethered to land.

Take Me Fishing and Discover Boating’s pandemic public service campaign called Get On Board, shows that the evidence is abundantly clear that boating leads to a “relaxing and unwinding” experience. In a study done in 2005, NMMA found that 90% of Americans live less than an hour from a navigable body of water, and that the most popular boating-related activity is simply relaxing with family and friends. What’s more, boating offers families the chance to have some outdoor fun while still abiding by the social distancing recommendations issued by the CDC. Plus, it opens up a host of other socially distanced stress-relieving activities like snorkeling or scuba diving, fishing, scalloping, and exploring places only accessible by boat. It’s no wonder that boating and on-water activities have sky rocketed in popularity during these trying times. 

It is still undoubtedly a very difficult time for all of us and the abundance of stress and uncertainty is testing our perseverance. Yet there are some things we can control, like the opportunity to build resilience as a society as well as individually, and by learning new ways to care for ourselves. Just because the year hasn’t quite operated on an even keel, there are always new ways to curb the impacts of negative, unforeseen circumstances.

Bottom line, this year has caused us to navigate adversity and sail into new opportunity; it’s brought us together even when we’re apart; it’s reshaped summer vacations and family memories; and through it all, boats of every shape and size have allowed millions of Americans to get onboard – both figuratively and literally, with their health, social distancing, and stress management. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NASBLA Award for Caroline

Copied from the official NASBLA Press Release found here:

Mantel presented with NASBLA Award

Caroline Mantel, from and Vice Chair of NASBLA’s VesselCaroline Mantel - NASBLA Award Identification, Registration & Titling (VIRT) Committee, was awarded the prestigious NASBLA Award during the 2020 NASBLA State RBS Workshop in Lexington, Kentucky.

The NASBLA Award is given in appreciation to an individual who has either given a lot of time and effort to the association to help achieve its objectives or who is acknowledged nationally, statewide or in their community for notable contributions to the betterment of boating.

Mantel has dedicated countless hours to the VIRT Committee and its various charges. In addition, she continues to work to advance boating safety by advocating for thorough and precise vessel identification throughout a vessel’s chain of ownership from the hull numbering to registration to titling.

Mantel’s tireless efforts to ensure boaters can make better used-watercraft purchases for protection against stolen boats, and most importantly prevent boaters from purchasing a boat with hidden damage, which certainly has a negative impact on their boating safety does not go unnoticed. Mantel is to be commended for her efforts for the betterment of boating safety. Congratulations Caroline!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

COVID-19 Dealer and Broker Assistance Program

We’re here to help by offering free access to our service for 3 months.

The recent outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has significantly impacted the boating industry, especially dealers and brokers. We at Boat History Report recognize this and want to do our part to help our colleagues in the industry.

We realize that social distancing measures have kept traffic to dealer locations down, and some locations have closed altogether. However, we also know that buyers are still shopping for boats online and viewing boats through virtual walk-throughs.

Therefore, we are providing our Dealer and Broker service free for 3 months under our COVID-19 Dealer and Broker Assistance Program.  Also, if you are a current subscribing dealer or broker, your billing has been paused as of April 1st. 

I started this business 15 years ago, with a mission to make boat buying more transparent.  Since then, we have amassed over 100 million unique records which allow us to provide the end-user with a credible report that is highly desirable in today’s information-driven economy.  Our business operates similarly to Carfax, and allows consumers to verify the history of the vessel seamlessly during the online shopping process.

Our hope is that by including a Boat History Report with your listings, your customers will feel more confident in the virtual shopping process during a time when they can no longer physically visit your location.

You can sign up for our COVID-19 Dealer and Broker Assistance Program online through this link:  If you would prefer to speak with me directly, please feel free to call me at 1-800-441-7599, ext. 144, or send an email to

As a boater and business owner, I am proud to be a part of an industry that comes together in a time of need.  I hope that this small gesture can help to relieve the financial burden we are all facing during these unprecedented times.  To see a message from our Founder and CEO, Grant Brooks, please see our page on YouTube here: Boat History Report


Grant W. Brooks
Founder / CEO


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Carfax for Boats Law

We were featured in another article on the passing of the Carfax for Boats Law due to our participation on helping get it passed.  We’ve been called the Carfax for boats for years because #BoatsCantTalk #Carfaxforboats #BoatsCantTalk

Carfax for boats law lowers chance of buying damaged vessel By Palak Patel /

Thinking about buying a used boat? A new law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on June 7 helps ensure that you won’t be left high and dry.

Known as ‘Carfax for boats,’ the law enables boat buyers and sellers to have access to the history of boats and include any accidents or damages done to the vessel, similar to that of a vehicle’s history.

Florida is the fifth state to implement this law.

Established in 2011 by the Uniform Law Commission, the law was first passed by Virginia, with Connecticut, District of Columbia and Hawaii following soon after, according to Caroline Mantel, director of business development at Mantel, who served as vice chair for the Vessel Identification, Registration & Titling Committee under the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, was personally involved in helping the law move forward.

Officially named the Uniform Certificate of Title for Vessels Act, the new law requires boaters to fully disclose any hull damage or theft directly on the title of the vessel, which goes into effect on July 1, 2023.

Reporting of a vessel’s history will mostly rely on self-reporting since boat insurance is not required in the state of Florida; failure to do so will result in the responsible party getting heavily fined, with the first offense starting at $5,000.

“Of the 923,000 registered boats in Florida, one in 30 boats has some sort of negative history associated with it, and in Duval County, it’s one in 28,” said Mantel.

The problem, however, is not with buying a pre-owned boat.

The problem is currently there are nine nontitling states — a boat with a branded title from Florida can be registered in Tennessee (one of the nontitling states) and will show up as having a “clean” title in the registration.

Until all 50 states start requiring vessels to be registered and titled properly, the law won’t be as effective as it should be.

Furthermore, all boats damaged prior to 2023 will not require such branding, which could potentially enable damaged boats to circulate in the boating industry without consumer knowledge.

“This law will be great in 10 years from now when all the boats have been titled correctly,” Mantel said.

However, this law will still significantly impact the boating industry and help provide greater transparency for safer boating.

“The goal is to make boating safer; this includes boat buying and selling, being out on the water, laws that protect boaters, etc. Anything that makes boating safer helps the boating industry and other businesses associated with it,” said Mantel.

President of the Jacksonville Marine Association, Rusty Gardner, agrees with Mantel.

“The ability to protect their [potential boat owners’] rights and assure the boat dealers that a boat is in good condition is great,” said Gardner.

On the other hand, he added, boat salvagers are at a disadvantage because their business is based on fixing boats and selling them off as “good condition” vessels.

When asked about the impact this law will have on the boating industry, Gardner doesn’t think it will negatively influence the industry at all.

“It’s going to positively impact the consumers, which is who we want to make happy,” Gardner said, “because at the end of the day, they are the ones that are going to go boating and enjoy their time on the water.”

For more information, visit

Posted in Boating | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

‘Carfax for boats’ law will alert buyers to vessels’ shady pasts

“Even if that happens, will remain the primary research source for prospective buyers who might not have an opportunity to see a title until sales negotiations are well underway, she said.”

Boat History Report is proud to have played a critical role in helping to bring the Uniform Certificate of Title for Vessels Act to Florida. This new law will help to create greater transparency and safer boating which supports our mission and purpose. Thank you to Ron Hurtibise at the Sun Sentinel for creating great awareness around this pivotal step towards making boating safer. BoatsCantTalk  BetterGetTheHistory BoatHistoryReport


Read the full article to learn more about how this new law will affect the marine industry:  New boating laws in South Florida


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Not sure what the difference between a recall and advisory is?

You’re not alone.  A big thanks to BoatUS for helping to explain the difference and why they are important!

Some highlights:

A “safety recall” involves a safety problem that relates to a boat or associated equipment that is less than 10 years old. The recall must pertain to a violation of federal safety regulations or “a defect that creates a substantial risk of personal injury to the public.”

A “Product Correction Bulletin” and “Service Advisory” generally involve the same thing: an issue that doesn’t pose an imminent threat to life and limb but can be dangerous.  Repairs are generally at no cost to the boat owner.

To read more, and learn about other types of notices, see the complete article by BoatUS here:  BoatUS: Recalls, Bulletins and Advisories Explained


Posted in Boating, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment