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Quarles warns farmers to avoid hay-buying scam
Producers can protect themselves by spelling out details in writing
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FRANKFORT, KY (Wed 24 May 2017) - Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles is cautioning area farmers to stay alert for possible scams targeting hay buyers and sellers.
"The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) has received several reports of fraudulent hay-buying activity in recent weeks," Quarles said. "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."
Warning signs of a possible scam may include:
- The buyer refuses to speak by telephone;"We urge anyone who believes they have been targeted by a scam to contact their local law enforcement agency or Kentucky State Police," Quarles said. "If anyone needs assistance locating hay, please contact KDA's Hay and Forage Testing Program at (502) 782-9210 or online at kyagr.com."
KDA Forage Testing Program administrator Kim Field warned that some scammers have also posed as hay sellers, creating websites or online posts that mimic legitimate hay businesses. "These scams can be sophisticated," Field said. "Telephone numbers that appear to be U.S.-based can be forwarded to unknown locations. Farmers should also vet charitable requests to donate hay or supplies for areas affected by natural disasters such as drought or wildfire."
Field said farmers can limit their exposure to scams by having a contract that specifies:
Kentucky farmers produced 5.5 million tons of hay valued at $674 million in 2016.
This story was posted on 2017-05-24 11:20:25
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