Machinery scams hit hard

Last year, Australians lost $1.4 million through fake online sales of heavy machinery, the majority being tractors, backhoes, bobcats and excavators. Photo by Geoff Adams

Farmers and agricultural businesses lost more than $1.5 million to scammers last year.

The most common agriculture scam was fake online sales of agricultural machinery such as tractors, backhoes, bobcats and excavators, accounting for reported losses of more than $1.4 million.

Scammers created fake websites to sell new tractors and operated second-hand tractor scams on platforms such as Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace.

This data was collected by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which released its latest report on scam activity on July 4.

The largest combined losses in 2021 were: $701 million lost to investment scams, $227 million lost to payment redirection scams and $142 million lost to romance scams.

The ACCC found Australians lost more than $2 billion to scams in 2021.