Updated August 2020
WA ScamNet has received reports about three 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:
- AU Heavy Machinery www.auheavymachinery.com
- Bora Machinery www.boramachinery.com
- Coad Machinery www.coad-machinery.com.au
- TQG Farming www.tqg-farming.com.au
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:
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:
- Au Ltd Transport (www.aultdtransport.com)
- Australia A&D Transport (www.australiaadtransport.com)
- Australia MD Transport (www.australiamdtransport.com)
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.