Wednesday, February 1, 2023
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Scammers preying on Australian farmers


Australian farmers are shedding tens of hundreds of {dollars} on tractor and equipment gross sales listings that change into refined scams, with the buyer watchdog warning farmers and rural companies to watch out for on-line offers that look “too good to be true”.

Scammers stole $1.2 million from farm companies between July 1 and August 31, a surge of greater than 20 per cent in contrast with the identical interval final 12 months, in line with the Australian Competitors and Client Fee.

Farmers are being warned not to get taken in by fake machinery ads online.

Farmers are being warned to not get taken in by faux equipment advertisements on-line.Credit score:Alex Ellinghausen

The ACCC is urging farmers to be notably alert to false equipment advertisements on-line, with greater than $1 million misplaced to one of these rip-off alone.

“These scams are inflicting substantial monetary losses and emotional devastation,” mentioned ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh.

“Scammers are ruthlessly luring farmers and rural companies with seemingly good on-line offers on tractors and different farm equipment by means of faux web sites or bogus classifieds on authentic platforms and publications.”

The ACCC information follows heightened consciousness round data safety, scams and cyberattacks after the private information of 10 million Australians was stolen in final month’s Optus breach, resulting in an investigation into the telco and a push from voters for more durable privateness legal guidelines.

‘Scammers will usually have an excuse as to why equipment can’t be inspected in particular person and that may be a crimson flag for any purchaser.’

Mick Keogh, ACCC deputy chair

Scammers make use of refined strategies to make a faux enterprise look convincing, resembling itemizing ABNs on faux web sites, offering a mock sale contract, answering questions in regards to the machine, and providing a free trial interval after a deposit is made right into a faux escrow account.

Keogh urged farmers and small enterprise homeowners to take further steps to confirm a enterprise is authentic earlier than making an costly buy on-line, resembling inspecting equipment in particular person or by means of stay video.

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