Updated February 2021
WA ScamNet has received reports about websites claiming to sell discounted second-hand farm machinery with products paid for but not delivered. Consumers have reported losing money to the following dodgy sites:
- Alto Equipment - altoequipment.com (Feb 2021)
- Amani Farming - amanifarming.com (May 2021)
- AU Heavy Machinery - www.auheavymachinery.com (Aug 2020)
- Aussie Heavy Equipment - www.aussieheavyequipment.com (Jan 2021)
- Balaton Freight – balatonfreight.com (June 2021)
- B&T Farming - btfarmingltd.com (June 2021)
- Bland Equipment - www.blandequipment.com (Jan 2021)
- Bora Machinery - www.boramachinery.com (Mar 2020)
- Caffi Plant & Equipment - www.caffiplantequipment.com (Feb 2021)
- Coad Machinery - www.coad-machinery.com.au (Jan 2020)
- Green Tractor - www.green-tractor.com (Nov 2020)
- Green Tractors - www.green-tractors.com (Nov 2020)
- Meier Machinery - meiermachinery.com (May 2021)
- Plant Constructions - plantconstructions.com (Nov 2020)
- Quantum Machine - quantummachine.com.au (May 2021)
- TQG Farming - www.tqg-farming.com.au (Nov 2019)
ABM Farming, AP Agriculture, Geiger Tractors, Pakenham Tractors and Shine Machinery
Further reports have been received of the following fake websites which are adveristing farm machinery for sale:
- ABM Farming - www.abmfarming.com (May 2020)
- AP Agricultures - www.apagricultures.com (May 2020)
- Geiger Tractors - www.geigertractors.com (Apr 2020)
- Pakenham Tractors - www.pakenham-tractors.com (May 2020)
- Shine Machinery - www.shine-machinery.com (May 2020)
The websites offer discounted tractors and other machinery, with payment via bank transfer only. This tactic should immediately ring alarm bells as safer payment options such as payment by credit card and PayPal were not included.
The websites also listed postal addresses which are either those of other legitimate businesses selling similar kinds of goods or are empty parcels of land.
Fake transport websites used
These dodgy sites refer victims to fake transport websites, claiming the funds will be held "in escrow" until the tractor has been inspected, and with the promise of a full refund if the customers weren’t satisfied.
Fake transport sites include:
- Access Freight Logistics - accessfreightlogistics.com (May 2021)
- Aeris Freight - aerisfreight.com (Nov 2020)
- AS Logistics Ltd - aslogisticsltd.com (May 2021)
- Au Ltd Transport - www.aultdtransport.com (Aug 2020)
- Australia A&D Transport - www.australiaadtransport.com (May 2020)
- Australia MD Transport - www.australiamdtransport.com (Mar 2020)
- Australia Pacific Cargo - www.aupacificcargo.com (Feb 2021)
- AU West Freight - www.auwestfreight.com (Jan 2021)
- Escrow Auto Services - escrowautoservices.com (Dec 2020)
- MZ Freight Services - mzfreightservices.com (Dec 2020)
These fake transport websites reference legitimate ABNs, which they appear to be using fraudulently. WA Scamnet has alerted the real owners of the ABNs.
Anyone who has ordered goods from these websites should immediately report the transaction to their bank as fraudulent.
Tips to avoid fake websites:
- Confirm the legitimacy of websites you are dealing with, especially if the website is unfamiliar and the deal seems too good to be true.
- Beware of sites using insecure payment methods such as a direct bank transfer or wire transfer.
- If an ABN is provided, check the Australian Business Register to confirm that the ABN is actually owned by the company referencing it: https://abr.business.gov.au.
- If making big purchases online, do your research. If a vehicle is interstate, arrange for a locally based company to do a mechanical inspection of the vehicle before purchasing.
- Search online for reviews of the website.
- Consider the risks if there is no physical address or contact information. If there is, search for the premises on Google Maps.