Australian farmers are shedding tens of hundreds of {dollars} on tractor and equipment gross sales listings that transform subtle scams, with the patron 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, based on the Australian Competitors and Shopper Fee.

Farmers are being warned towards falling sufferer to faux equipment adverts on-line.Credit score:Alex Ellinghausen

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

“These scams are inflicting substantial monetary losses and emotional devastation,” stated 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 via faux web sites or bogus classifieds on legit platforms and publications.”

The ACCC knowledge follows heightened consciousness round info safety, scams and cyberattacks after the private knowledge 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 make use of subtle strategies to make a faux enterprise look convincing, comparable to itemizing ABNs on faux web sites, offering a mock sale contract, answering questions concerning the machine, and providing a free trial interval after a deposit is made right into a faux escrow account.

‘Scammers will typically have an excuse as to why equipment can’t be inspected in individual and that may be a purple flag for any purchaser.’

Mick Keogh, ACCC deputy chair

Keogh urged farmers and small enterprise homeowners to take further steps to confirm a enterprise is legit earlier than making an costly buy on-line, comparable to inspecting equipment in individual or via dwell video.

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