Farmers are losing thousands of pounds to criminals who are setting up fake websites offering tractors and other equipment for sale.

Buyers looking for bargains are being hoodwinked into paying deposits – only to find out too late the machines don’t exist.

Nigel Wellings, of rural insurance brokers Farmers & Mercantile, says two of his farmer clients have been used as unwitting middlemen in the scam.

The criminals set up the fake websites based on real farms so they look genuine – and then disappear with the money once the scam is uncovered.

For the full story, see Farmers Weekly this Friday (20 April).