Oceanographer/Marine Engineer Client

How the scam works:

If you are selling or buying items on Craigslist or Kijiji, you might be approached by a potential buyer/seller who says he is interested in closing the deal but works as an oceanographer or marine engineer, and is at sea at the moment.

This is why, he says, he can't have a phone conversation, but is glad to go through the whole process via the Internet. By doing this, the scammer is able to mask his accent or bad English, while he is pretending to be from the same region as you. Indeed, by going ahead with the conversation via e-mail, he will try to victimize you with one of the over 30 scams listed on the Online Auctions and Auto categories of our app.

This is a scam with a fake unusual job that crooks use just to avoid talking on the phone; they are trying to get access to your details through your computer.

The text of the email looks like this (including the grammar mistakes written by the scammers):

Thanks for the prompt reply. I will like to know the lowest price for it, i want you to get back to me with more picture and the present condition of it because i could not come over to inspect it. I am buying it locally here as a birthday gift for my Son that is living in Malaysia.

I am at sea at the moment as i am an Oceanographer ( i work on Great Ocean Road in South-West Victoria,Australia ) and due to the nature of my work, phone calls is restricted. It was my son that check your advert and sent you a text to contact me (his mother ) on my email address because i am currently offshore .

I  am really sure he will be more than happy if i am able to purchase it from you because this is what he want and chose from the Advert.
You need not worry yourself about how it will get to him there in Malaysia as i have a contact of shipping company there that will be handling the pick up and all the paper work.


How to avoid the Oceanographer/ Marine Engineer scam:

Ignore emails like this. The email conversation between you and them is scripted, copied and pasted from former discussions with previous victims. As well, always beware of bad grammar.


How to report the Oceanographer/ Marine Engineer scam:

Make your family and friends aware of this scam by sharing it on social media using the buttons provided. You can also officially report the scammers to the Federal Trade Commission using the link below:

Report To The FTC Here


How to protect yourself more:

If you want to be the first to find out the most notorious scams every week, feel free to subscribe to the Scam Detector newsletter here. You'll receive periodical emails and we promise not to spam. Last but not least, use the Comments section below to expose other scammers.


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Had this scam last week through txt messages from Craigs list where we have a car listed for sale. The guy also stated that he was buying the car for his father-in-law and that since he was an oceanographer he had just taken a job and was leaving the next day. I txt him back that we accpted cash only and he has not contacted us since.


I just had the this happen to me the alias’ used on gmail.com was Tony Donald but the name he gave for his paypal account was Darren Gerald his email is holdpen345@gmail.com. told me it was for his dad and that he’s an oceanographer at sea. He said that I was to western union $1100 to a shipper in san diego and that paypal would reinburse me i phoned paypal and they said it was a scamhe said the shipper would then come pick my car. He even had a fake paypal sent tome saying iI had one day to… Read more »

Scott L

And so I am very lucky to check every little details before giving out my bank information. Here is what the scammer wrote: ‘Thank you for getting back to me,can you assure me that i will not be disappointed if i buy this Item as a Birthday gift for my cousin? as I’m ready to pay your asking price but not cash in person because I’m an Oceanographer and i am presently on a contract which will end in couple of months,the contract is strictly no call due to the lack of reception on the sea area,but I’m able to… Read more »


1347 709-5475 is a scammer number that tries to buy stuff through money order an always claims he is going out I town for a job. He is all over craigslist. Trying to buy everything for sale and his form of payment is money order or western union. And he is paying $30 more that you can keep because he was late. Scam artist John. Don’t get in his / her trap.


347-956-4822 a Guy texed and said he was a oceanographer, and that he want to buy my car for his wife. He also said that he was at sea but was more than happy to pay the asking price without seeing the car, that he would have a shipping company pick the car up as soon as the check mailed and cleared the bank. Well i got the check called his bank and they said the funds are not availble. I messages him and said your bank said funds are not available, he told me to deposit check. I told… Read more »



Abraham Blumberg
Founder / Managing Director at AmazonEnemy Inc


He didn’t pay his employees. He also promised to give 13th month but did not comply. Did not contact his employees and left them hanging.


the same guy Gerald Darren said that he is buying my item for his son. he would give me a certified bank check. sight unseen. wow!!


207-578-3553 Another scammer replying to a Craigslist posting: "I am interested in buying it & willing to pay your asking price i wont be able to come do thisin person and pay with cash because I’m currently at work as i work at the sea as an oceanographer.Due to this i will not be able to come do the pick up myself and pay via cash. So i will be paying you via Check with the shipping fee included and after the Check clears & you have cash with you.i will ask my movers to come for the pick up… Read more »


Selling a wedding dress on Craigslist and this happens! WOW the never of people! AMBER BANKS_SCAM! Hi, My Name is Mrs Amber Adams and thanks for your response. I am happy to hear that the dress is still for sale,, i am an oceanographer and presently working on the sea due to my status of work, i won’t be able to see the dress but i will be okay with the pictures and am would be happy to purchase it from you. Am purchasing the dress for my daughter and my mode of payment is pay pal. I would like… Read more »


We are non-profit organization, we We had a reply to our Craigs list post.It is as follows THEM: Beverage cooler – $500 (oroville) Is this still available for sale? Donovan Newton ME: yes Me: I have no way to haul it though. THEM: Hi this is Donovan again as regards the purchase.I am keen in purchasing it for your price. However I will be unable to come look at THEM: ur preferred location. Do reply back with your full name and address in which the (cashier’s check) payment will be mailed to you. Tha THEM: it personally and pay cash… Read more »

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