We have a scam warning for area farmers. The scammer was using a legitimate website Cattle Exchange looking for victims.
Tennessee Department of Agriculture says it happened during a proposed cattle sale with a person claiming to be in Arkansas. A farmer in Coffee County spoke with the alleged scammer, saw photos/video of the cattle, and settled on a price. The “seller” requested a deposit ($15k) which was transferred via wire. The rest would be paid upon delivery. The farmer says he realized something was off when only days later the alleged scammer wanted him to sign a contract and make payment in full before delivery. That’s when he called authorities. Investigators have been unable to contact the “seller” since and tracked the wire transfer to a bank outside of the United States.
Cattle Exchange is aware of this alleged scammer/seller and told investigators they removed several other posts from the same name.
This is a good reminder to be diligent. Regardless of buying or selling – go with your gut. If something feels off about a transaction, move on or do more research.
- Do your homework. Ask all the questions regardless of registered or commercial livestock. (Age, how long they’ve had them, pedigrees, EPD’s, breed composition, performance data, health protocols and disease testing, and if the livestock is farm raised or co-mingled.)
- Get guarantees in writing. Females, Open/Bred. Bulls for breeding – Have they had a BSE done? (Remember a BSE is only good for the day it is done.)
- It is strongly suggested that buyers visualize animals in person or have a trusted agent go to inspect animals prior to purchase. (Contact the state livestock association or agriculture extension and see if they know someone in the area who would do an in-person visit.)
- Make sure animals are accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI or Health Certificate) as is required by state and federal rules when moving animals interstate.
- Research the buyer online and/or reach out to the state livestock association or agriculture extension and see if they are familiar or know someone who might be.
- While a cashier’s check is a standard method of payment and typically safe, contact the financial institution where the check is drawn to ensure its validity. There may be insufficient funds or the check itself may be counterfeit.
- Be wary of offers to pay over the purchase price, even if there seems to be a valid reason.