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Quarles warns Kentucky farmers of scams targeting hay buyers, sellers


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Producers can protect themselves with a written contract


 FRANKFORT Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles is alerting Kentucky farmers to be on the lookout for possible scams targeting hay buyers and sellers.

 “The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has received several reports of fraudulent hay-buying activity,” Commissioner Quarles said, noting at least three Kentucky producers have been targeted multiple times by scammers, with one losing $1,000.

 “Farmers should take extra care to protect themselves from scam artists when buying or selling commodities such as hay or livestock, especially when contacted through email, social media, or text message,” he added.

 Warning signs of a possible scam include:

 •The alleged buyer refuses to speak by telephone;

 •The alleged buyer doesn’t give information about their farm or business; or

 •The alleged buyer is vague about transportation arrangements.

 One popular scam is when the alleged buyer mails the seller a check in excess of the negotiated price, stating that his “business” made a mistake. The buyer then asks the seller to use the leftover money to pay the transport costs or purchase gift cards as a refund and give the buyer the card numbers.

 Scammers have also mailed checks from well-known banks that appear as if they are from legitimate businesses. By t