As demand for hay increases, producers are being warned of purchasing scams

Some Saskatchewan producers have fell victim to a scam while trying to purchase hay.

Certain ads for hay have asked for payment prior to the owner seeing the hay or having confirmed delivery.

Garth Woods with Livestock Services Saskatchewan says with feed being at a premium, it’s not shocking it’s become a target for scammers.

“This year there’s a large increase in the volume of feed transactions in general, just because of drought-related feed shortages,” said Woods. “So, unscrupulous people try to take advantage of any shortage situation where supply doesn’t meet demand, and they find ways to prey on the purchaser.”

Woods says many producers are desperate for feed, which makes them put their guard down when trying to buy more.

“People tend to want to believe that the person on the other end of the line has good intentions, and they might not be,” said Woods. “People tend to not complete all the diligence that they should with references and stuff.”

He adds scams like this have always been around, but the prevalence of social media has increased their reach.

Woods says he understands producers are scrambling, but it’s important to be cautious when buying hay online.

“Our recommendation always is go look at what you’re purchasing, and don’t offer up payment or down payment, until you’re satisfied that the commodity exists and will be delivered,” said Woods. “You can make a handshake deal if you’d like to purchase something, but don’t pay for it until it arrives.”

Anyone with information on the scams can contact the RCMP or Livestock Services Saskatchewan at 306-546-5086.

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