There are a number of scams out there where buyers offer bogus
payment (often cashiers checks or money orders). This has been going on for
a while on the auction sites like Ebay, and you can find a lot of information
about these scams online. Unfortunately, these scam artists are now targeting
hay sellers, too.
List of known scammers:
Examples of hay scam e-mails:
Scammers operate by e-mail. Their e-mails tend to have some or all of these
- Offering payment by cashier's check or money order only.
- Insisting on paying more than you're asking.
- Asking you to send cash on to a 3rd party, such as the hay shipper.
Additional warning flags, any of which should make you suspicious:
- Poor spelling and odd word choices (not a native English speaker).
- Lack of knowledge or interest in the hay itself.
- Unusual name, unusual e-mail address.
- Refusing to speak by phone; insisting on corresponding by e-mail only.
Here are some off-site links where you can read more about these scams. All I can
suggest is to use caution when arranging hay sales to remote buyers. If you
receive scam offers, please report them to the authorities.
Where to report scams:
- FTC toll free hotline: 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357), or the
- FTC online complaint form (www.ftc.gov)
- Internet Fraud Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov/)
- Non-emergency number for your local police department.
- Your state's office of the attorney general.