Devastated farmer loses £6,000 in online tractor scam

A farmer seeking to buy a second-hand tractor has been caught out by an elaborate online scam.

The purchase saw the farmer transfer a payment of £6,330 earlier this month for a John Deere tractor on what appears to be a fake website.

The victim, who owns a smallholding in the UK, says the seller is now uncontactable.

See also: Common scams – how to protect your farm business against them

“It is £6,000, which hurts financially, but it could have been worse if I’d bought a £40,000 tractor,” said the farmer, who does not want to be named.

“My concern is that other farmers who might purchase an even more expensive tractor than me could be duped, as I have.”

The farmer was searching the internet to buy a tractor with a bucket to help reduce some of the manual work on his holding when he stumbled across a website called A&K Farming (

‘Bargain’ price

He spotted an advert for a John Deere 4115 (2005) tractor with 1,458 recorded hours at what appeared to be a bargain price of £6,200.

The farmer phoned the number advertised on the website and he was told he could only purchase the tractor if he paid all the money up front – and for an additional £130 it would be delivered at the weekend.  

But the farmer became concerned when the weekend passed, and the tractor had not been delivered. The seller is now not answering his calls.

“I was taken in by the quality of the invoice. Everything seemed to match, and I had done some due diligence by checking Companies House,” said the farmer.

The smallholder was to pay a different company, with a different bank account.

When the farmer questioned this, A&K Farming said it was because they were doing a private sale on behalf of another. 

Company details stolen

Further investigation has revealed that is illegally using the legitimate address, company number and VAT number of a dairy farmer based in Tiverton, Devon.

Farmers Weekly has spoken to the dairy farmer, who told how people have been turning up at his farm having arranged meetings to view machinery.

The farmer has been contacted by people from as far away as Poland enquiring about tractors for sale.

A second farmer, based in Stirling, Scotland, who also runs a company called A&K Farming, has also been inundated with enquiries.

Farmers Weekly has requested a comment from but has not received any reply.

The victim has reported the incident to Action Fraud.

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