After Lynda Steele learned about a scam artist who tried to trick a high-level Mountie into buying a phony boat online, she went undercover to expose the fraud herself.

The scam artist is lurking on buy and sell websites like Craigslist to try and push products that don't exist.

The fraudster was even exposed by a B.C. RCMP officer who tried to flush them out online, but even the threat from police wasn't enough to put the scammer out of business.

Related: Scammer tries to sell bogus boat to Mountie

Insp. Tim Shields found the fraudster when he was looking to buy a boat. But he thought the $13,000 price tag was too good to be true.

He emailed the seller, who verified the low price, but said they had moved to Spain and the boat was now in the Yukon – so he couldn't see it before the purchase.

"[The seller said] if you wire me the money, then I will have the boat shipped down to Vancouver where you are," Shields said.

Shields smelled a rat, so after doing a little investigation he wrote the bogus boat seller a stern warning identifying himself as a police officer: "I know that this is a fraud. Suffice to say, we are on to you and we will find you. If you don't believe me, Google Tim Shields, RCMP. I am very real."

But even that wasn't enough to drive the bogus boat seller off Craigslist.

When Lynda Steele clicked on the link six weeks later, the brazen scammer named Maria was still trying to flog the phony boat, complete with photos.

So Lynda emailed to say she was "very interested in buying" and in return Maria sent a very similar sales pitch.

"I'm selling it because I've relocated to Spain, and it's too expensive to import it here," Maria wrote.

Lynda emailed Maria back saying she wanted to talk on the phone about the deal but Maria responded by saying: "My cell is not working for international calls."

Maria pushed Lynda to register with eBay Buyer Protection, saying: "If anything is wrong with (the boat), eBay will refund your money and I will be in charge of the return shipping fee. EBay will hold the money until you confirm that the boat is as expected."

But the eBay protection plan only works if the item is bought and sold through eBay and this bogus boat was selling on Craigslist, so it would be worthless.

Shields says the bottom line is to trust your instincts.

"If it's too good to be true, I promise you it is too good to be true," he said. "Don't send the money."

Maria was getting pretty excited thinking Lynda was going to buy her boat, even offering $1,000 off of the listed price. That is, until Lynda identified herself as a television reporter from CTV News doing a story on Craigslist scam artists.

Then the emails from Maria ended abruptly.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lynda Steele