Feed scam cons farmers out of thousands

Drought-stricken farmers are falling for a new scam.

Despairing farmers, desperate for relief from drought gripping parts of the country, have fallen for a new scam that is doing the rounds via OLX and Gumtree.

Adverts promising stock feed at cut prices are luring unsuspecting farmers seeking discounted deals to alleviate mounting pressures resulting from widespread weather strain.

According to André Niemann of private security consultancy Ansec Consult, at least three farmers from the North West and Northern Cape provinces were conned out of thousands of rand after they ‘bought’ stock feed online.

The modus operandi usually involves offerings of feed at below-average prices - and when inquiries are made, interested farmers are told that there’s been a run on supply.

With their interest thus piqued they are then told that they can, at a push, be accommodated if they make an immediate deposit of 50%.

One of the payments made by a farmer amounted to at least R250 000.

The confidence tricksters are said to speak fluent Afrikaans, address their prospective clients by calling them “oom” (uncle), and even say “God bless” when deals are struck.

But once EFT payments have been cleared, the feed merchants mysteriously disappear.

According to Niemann the scammers operate from cell numbers that go quit once Sim cards are discarded. Identification numbers traced to the respective numbers have been found to come from stolen ID books.

Ansec Consult is said to be on the verge of a breakthrough and, with arrests hopefully imminent, said at least one of the perpetrators is a farmer himself.

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