Farmers have been warned about a scam website selling machinery using the identity of agronomy group Prime Agriculture.
The website – www.prime-agriculture.com – claims to be Prime Agriculture LLP and is offering to buy and sell second-hand tractors, diggers, telehandlers and dumpers.
It uses Prime Agriculture LLP’s company registration number and registered address, which is the site of Anglia Farmers (AF) at Honingham Thorpe.
The site has been registered to an individual in Warsaw and it has set up a Google Mail web address and carries a phone number with a Blackpool code, which is known to be used by fraudsters.
Photographs of machinery listed on the website appear to have been taken in either Poland or Germany. Meanwhile, Prime Agriculture agronomist Peter Riley, a former Farmers Weekly Arable Adviser of the Year, is registered as the main salesman.
Clarke Willis, chief executive of Anglia Farmers, said: “We became aware of the fake website after a Norwegian farmer rang the AF office to check detail prior to transferring €65,000 as a deposit on a machinery purchase.
“Thankfully, one of our guys on the machinery desk told him it was nothing to do with us before any money could be sent.
“This is a scam that is going on across Europe. At the moment, police are treating it as identity theft unless it can be proven that any money has exchanged hands. Then it becomes fraud.”
Prime Agriculture has no knowledge of this operation and police have been alerted. Members are being warned not to buy through this site. The company would like as many farmers as possible to be made aware of the scam.