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 Documentation renewal-don't fall for this scam

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
cwms Posted - Mar 24 2017 : 17:16:10
When you get a CG renewal letter, make sure it is from the CG. I got a letter in the mail directing me to their website where I ended up paying $75 for renewal. I now know it was a documentation service and not the CG.
They got me this time but never again.
Next year, I will renew only with the CG and $26...not $75.
50   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
cwms Posted - Feb 04 2018 : 21:02:45
I just got one the other day and this one came from Idaho or someplace up there. It did not come from CA with the WVA return address as most of them have.
While a different office and website, I think both offices are owned by the same guy
Gregory S Posted - Feb 04 2018 : 14:47:22
Yep, the bogus renewal letters are arriving a month before your actual Coast Guard letter.
cwms Posted - Feb 01 2018 : 10:37:42
quote:
Originally posted by cwms



When you get a CG renewal letter, make sure it is from the CG. I got a letter in the mail directing me to their website where I ended up paying $75 for renewal. I now know it was a documentation service and not the CG.
They got me this time but never again.
Next year, I will renew only with the CG and $26...not $75.



Guys, just a reminder. Don't fall for this.
Gregory S Posted - Jun 26 2017 : 17:43:02
Signed the form, sent them a check for $26 last week. New documentation certificate arrived today. The back log at The NVDC must not be affecting renewals.
Also, it looks like his Facebook page is gone!, Maybe we beat this scam artist.
cwms Posted - Jun 18 2017 : 21:57:53
Just bringing this back to the top of the page in case anyone missed it.
Don't fall for this scam. Only renew with the actual Coast Guard Documentation Center. Only costs $26. These scumbags charge you $75.
Gregory S Posted - Jun 06 2017 : 13:29:14
And of course the letter has to arrive before the official CG notice arrives. That's easy for them because they know the CG sends them out about 60 days before expiration and they can find the expiration date of any certificate by visiting the NVDC website.
cwms Posted - Jun 06 2017 : 12:19:01
Here's how the scam works.
There are 3 steps from this vendor
Step 1, The reminder letter. Very vague as to being 3rd party and easily fools people into thinking it came from the CG.
Step 2, the website does give a little more detail as to the company being an 3rd party agent, not the CG.
Step 3, if you click on Terms and conditions, it is very specific that they are a 3rd party documentation agent.
Their strategy....fool enough people with step 1 and they really don't look very hard at step 2 and rarely look at step 3. And now they have an out, "see our step 3, where we clearly say we are a 3rd party vendor".
And it works. As soon as I saw the letter (step 1), I honestly believed it came from the CG. My guard dropped and I hardly looked at step 2 and completely ignored step 3.
cwms Posted - Jun 06 2017 : 12:11:18
quote:

CWMS: Where did you see that advisory?



Someone posted it on another boating forum. I copied and pasted here.

Edit...Google is our friend. Here's the advisory.

https://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg545/alerts/Adv0117.pdf
Gregory S Posted - Jun 06 2017 : 10:45:37
A.M.: that's how the scam works. You get the bogus letter before the CG letter arrives. CG says approx. 60 days before expiration is when real notice arrives.
CWMS: Where did you see that advisory?
cwms Posted - Jun 06 2017 : 10:25:30
This advisory is from the Coast Guard

May 16, 2017 Safety Advisory 01-17. Washington, DC

Coast Guard Certificate of Documentation Services

Be Aware of Third Party Service Providers

The U.S. Coast Guard’s National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC), located in Falling Waters, West Virginia, is the only entity authorized to issue Certificates of Documentation (CODs), Form CG- 1270, valid for a period of one year from date of issuance. This document is required for vessels engaged in Commercial trade and is optional for vessels five net tons and over engaged in recreational use/activities.

The NVDC is aware that there are commercial entities that offer to manage the certification/renewal process on behalf of vessel owners for a fee. The Coast Guard does not endorse any of these companies, and the companies do not operate on behalf of the Coast Guard in any way. Any fees charged beyond the $26 renewal fee, to include other fees found in title 46 CFR 67.550, or other agreements offered by such companies are in no way associated with the NVDC certification process. In addition, these companies are not authorized to issue any form of documentation, including travel letters and/or permits that authorize operation of ANY vessel.

Persons interested in conducting business directly with NVDC should visit the official Coast Guard website at: http://www.uscg.mil/nvdc/. NOTE: The only legitimate Coast Guard website offering documentation uses a “.mil” domain name. Web domains using “.us,” “.com,” “.org” are not authorized.

To obtain official forms, visit the USCG NVDC website or contact NVDC at (800) 799-8362 or (304) 271-2400. Phone hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; phones are not manned on Thursdays.

Application packages and documents eligible for filing (in .pdf format) can be e-mailed to nvdc.pdf.filingrb2rb2@gr5tgr5tuscg.mil or faxed to (304) 271-2405. COD Renewal requests (Form CG-1280) are accepted via vdc-pf-nvdcrenewalsrb2rb2@gr5tgr5tuscg.mil with credit card payment of $26.00 via Form CG-7042.

The following products may be ordered online: Renewals (Form CG-1280), Late Renewals (Form CG-1280), Abstract of Title (Form CG-7043) and Certified Copy of COD (Form CG-7043) requests. From the main page, follow the “Order Products Online” link. The Fee Schedule can be found here: http://www.uscg.mil/nvdc/instr/fee%20sch.pdf

Users are encouraged to register to receive notices and updates via e-mail by utilizing NVDC’s email subscription service. From the main page, follow the "Subscribe to NVDC Information" link. Please report any issues to the NVDC Webmaster. Customer complaints regarding false service providers can be made through the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) website at http://www.ftc.gov/.

This Safety Advisory is provided for informational purposes only and does not relieve any domestic or international safety, operational or material requirement. Developed by the Coast Guard’s National Vessel Documentation Center and distributed by the Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis, Washington DC. Questions may be sent to nvdc.w.webmasterrb2rb2@gr5tgr5tuscg.mil.
Anchor Management Posted - Jun 06 2017 : 10:04:16
quote:
Originally posted by Gregory S

Your reminder from The CG should come early in the month before your documentation expiration. When you get the letter from the bogus site, know that the real renewal form will come several weeks later. This thread should be a "sticky" so others don't fall for this scam.


Thanks. I already got the scam letter. Just waiting for the real one.
Gregory S Posted - Jun 06 2017 : 09:40:50
Your reminder from The CG should come early in the month before your documentation expiration. When you get the letter from the bogus site, know that the real renewal form will come several weeks later. This thread should be a "sticky" so others don't fall for this scam.
cwms Posted - Jun 05 2017 : 21:44:55
Yes, the CG does send out reminder letters, but not a bad idea to get on their website, look up your boat and make sure all the info is correct. I've read post where people didn't get their letter due to an error in their address.
Anchor Management Posted - Jun 05 2017 : 21:41:45
At this point, And since I'm sure I fell for this scam last year, I don't remember the real process. Does Coast Guard send me a reminder or do I just call up and renew?
Gregory S Posted - Jun 05 2017 : 19:39:02
My real CG documentation form came today. $26 not $75!
Gregory S Posted - May 27 2017 : 20:22:43
I sent him an e mail saying what I thought about his deceptive practices. Of course, no response.
cwms Posted - May 25 2017 : 14:09:40
I emailed the CG a couple of times about this. Basically they said they couldn't do anything but suggested complaining to the postal service and FTC. I get the feeling they have received numerous complaints on this company. Someone said on another forum they heard that the CG is starting to look into this.
I also filed a complaint with BOAT US.
Anchor Management Posted - May 25 2017 : 12:56:10
Has anyone filed a complaint with Coast Guard or other authorities and if so, what was the response?
cwms Posted - May 25 2017 : 10:53:39
quote:
Originally posted by Gregory S

Sure. It's legal, but still a scam.



Not so sure about it being legal. I've got a feeling any first year lawyer can present enough evidence that the company intentionally misleads boaters that a judge would, at the least, issue a "cease & desist order" to stop sending out their fake letters.
Once the letters stop, they will lose 95% of their renewal business.
Gregory S Posted - May 23 2017 : 17:02:56
This guy is so legit that the return address on his envelope in Morgantown ,WV, is fake (it's a restaurant), and his website shows his location as California.
Gregory S Posted - May 20 2017 : 18:18:05
Sure. It's legal, but still a scam.
Anchor Management Posted - May 20 2017 : 13:08:16
Got mine today and after seeing it I am certain I fell for this last year. Unfortunately after looking at it, although very shady it is most likely legal.
Joeshoes Posted - May 20 2017 : 11:02:27
This thread is a great heads up.

He is just a scammer.. and a petty scammer at that.

Any legalboy that would take a case for $ 50 should demand a refund from his "law school."

And he probably pays a barber to shave him so he does not have to look in the mirror every morning.



cwms Posted - May 20 2017 : 09:51:54
quote:
Originally posted by CurrentSea

It is, they pay people for good reviews.
World is full of scammers, lowlifes, sc*mb*ags, etc.

My credit card company sent me a letter to fill out details.
I guess I need to decide if I want to bother or not.





Why not include the press release put out by BOAT US. That will ad some clout to your complaint
Gregory S Posted - May 20 2017 : 09:08:21
Hope you do. This scumbag is counting on you not wanting to bother.
CurrentSea Posted - May 20 2017 : 07:52:01
It is, they pay people for good reviews.
World is full of scammers, lowlifes, sc*mb*ags, etc.

My credit card company sent me a letter to fill out details.
I guess I need to decide if I want to bother or not.

Gregory S Posted - May 20 2017 : 07:11:36
Yep, the more 5 star reviews I read, the more irritated I got. Lots of bogus reviews. Pretty obvious that most of these reviews are fake. If you go o some of the reviewers FB pages you'll see that they hsve posted hundreds of 5 star reviews on all sorts of businesses. This mus be a business of it's own.
cwms Posted - May 19 2017 : 21:34:14
Thanks for giving us his facebook link. It was very interesting reading. All reviews were either 5 star "great service" reviews or 1 star "total scam" reviews. Nothing in between. I believe a number of those great reviews were all posted the same day.
Gregory S Posted - May 19 2017 : 21:07:11
He preys on ignorance. Either you don't read all the info or someone has told you how difficult it is to do it yourself. You know what they say about a fool and his money.
cwms Posted - May 19 2017 : 20:38:04
quote:
Originally posted by CurrentSea


He is doing a service. Its not different than someone waiting on line at DMV to renew your registration.

You can slam his facebook page too https://www.facebook.com/USCGdocumentation/





This is where I disagree. If I pay someone to go stand in line at the DMV, that person is saving me the hour or so standing in line myself.
I can pay this scumbag $75 and take 3 minutes to fill out his website info. Or I can pay the CG $26 and take 3 minutes to fill out there website. He saves me no time whatsoever and I have to pay a premium for the non service.
Gregory S Posted - May 19 2017 : 17:51:15
So I called but all the phone options take you to the website. He doesn't want to talk to us or play. If you go to his Facebook page, lots of bogus reviews from non boaters.
CurrentSea Posted - May 19 2017 : 12:59:44
Actually I just realized that the credit was my credit card company
So it may not stick.
I disputed the charge for $49

Gregory S Posted - May 19 2017 : 12:19:30
Ha! I think when I call him with my WV phone number, I'll tell him I'm in Morgantown and would like to come by his "office" and do it in person.
CurrentSea Posted - May 19 2017 : 11:14:31
Guess my threats paid off.
I received a $49 credit!!!!!

Gregory S Posted - May 19 2017 : 08:30:10
I got the letter today. He does in fact state it is a service but you have to read well into the body of the letter to get to that point. Interesting that the business address is Morgantown, W.V., and the letter was post marked Santa Ana, Ca. I think I'll call him today and have some fun with him. It also gives you the five year option for $300! What a deal!
CurrentSea Posted - May 11 2017 : 13:16:54
Best way to shut him down is report him.
He does copy his attorney on his emails.
I looked up the name, it is a legit attorney.
I am sure he has checked and cross checked his approach.
He is doing a service. Its not different than someone waiting on line at DMV to renew your registration.
The issue is he is deceptive.
Rather than saying this a service he tries to make it seem like you are dealing with USCG.
I am suprised you got thru on the phone. All buttons i push are recordings!

You can slam his facebook page too https://www.facebook.com/USCGdocumentation/

cwms Posted - May 11 2017 : 11:17:11
quote:
Originally posted by Victorias Secret

I got that letter this week. It was very official looking, but the wording did not seem right. I called them just to mess with him, after I told him several times he was an unethical crook and was committing mail fraud he hung up on me. The USPS and the USCG need to shut this place down. Looking at the letter I can see how someone would be fooled, but I had a heads up from this site. That alone just paid for my anchor.....



Glad you didn't fall for it. Spread the word...best way to shut them down is by everyone knowing about this BEFORE they get the letter.
Victorias Secret Posted - May 11 2017 : 10:05:42
I got that letter this week. It was very official looking, but the wording did not seem right. I called them just to mess with him, after I told him several times he was an unethical crook and was committing mail fraud he hung up on me. The USPS and the USCG need to shut this place down. Looking at the letter I can see how someone would be fooled, but I had a heads up from this site. That alone just paid for my anchor.....
Gregory S Posted - May 11 2017 : 08:46:19
I'd be willing to bet this is some clown working out of his house and has no staff or attorney. call his bluff.
CurrentSea Posted - May 10 2017 : 15:57:58
I did that. I can't take it all off, asking them to take off the over-charge.
Anchor Management Posted - May 10 2017 : 15:46:19
quote:
Originally posted by CurrentSea

I am fighting with the ahole on email now.
Told him I paid for a 1 year renewal and got 10 months, therefore I want a 2 month refund.
Going back and forth, he keeps referring to his attorney.

Wish I had an attorney in my back pocket who I can throw at him.

Told him we are starting a class action suit!

If you put it on your credit card, call your CC company and tell them you are disputing the charge. They will take it off your bill. I g=have done this many times when I did not get what I paid for.



CurrentSea Posted - May 10 2017 : 15:37:51
I am fighting with the ahole on email now.
Told him I paid for a 1 year renewal and got 10 months, therefore I want a 2 month refund.
Going back and forth, he keeps referring to his attorney.

Wish I had an attorney in my back pocket who I can throw at him.

Told him we are starting a class action suit!

cwms Posted - May 10 2017 : 15:31:19
quote:
Originally posted by CurrentSea

I found it.
I lost 2 months as well.
Bastards.




I was afraid of that. I think just about everyone loses one month and more than a few, two months.

Do whatever you can to spread the word...best way to shut them down. Once they realize they are only getting one renewal for every 40-50 reminder letters mailed, they will stop.
CurrentSea Posted - May 10 2017 : 14:57:41
I found it.
I lost 2 months as well.
Bastards.

CurrentSea Posted - May 10 2017 : 14:18:37
Interesting, I don't see where it has been renewed and I don't see my case in work anymore.
I wonder if my email threatening them caused them to cancel it.
Though they still have my $75.

Where are you checking yours?
cwms Posted - May 10 2017 : 12:19:08
CurrentSea, did you get a full 12 months on your new renewal or did you lose a month or two?
CurrentSea Posted - May 10 2017 : 11:27:34
They nailed a friend of mine.
Same deal, he knew they charged a fee and $75 seemed reasonable.

I did get a email from postmaster general that they were looking into it.

cwms Posted - May 10 2017 : 11:11:04
Just bringing this thread back to the top of the page in case anyone missed it the first go around.
mixman Posted - Apr 25 2017 : 21:23:42
This sounds similar to the yellow page, domain name registration, vacation, and insurance scams I receive at my office almost daily. It truly is rather disgusting.
cwms Posted - Apr 25 2017 : 17:32:40
Both the CG web site and my just received document letter say 4/30/18. My previous expiration date was 5/31/17. I lost a month.
I saw a post in another forum where the boat owner lost two months. That's what made me check mine.

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