UDAF warns cattle buying scams on the rise

A file photo of a bull owned by a Hyrum cattle owner.

TAYLORSVILLE – The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is warning livestock purchasers of potential scams with online livestock purchases seen in surrounding states.

Cattle herds moving along Logan Canyon, US-89 (Courtesy: US Forest Service)

“Our department has been made aware of scammers taking advantage of livestock buyers, purchasing livestock from online classified listing sources in surrounding states such as Colorado,” said UDAF Animal Division Director, Leann Hunting. “We want buyers in Utah to be aware of these potential scams and know how to identify them.”

Livestock buyers should be cautious when purchasing animals online when not using a reputable auction house or face to face with the seller. Scammers ask for payment or partial payment before allowing you to see the animals. Buyers should never send payment without in-person verification that the listing is real and accurate. If the seller is not open to an in-person viewing, know this is a potential scam.

The UDAF is expecting scams to be higher this year, due to the higher market prices for these animals. Cattle prices rose to the highest since 2014-15 in July of 2023 and are continuing to rise according to data provided by local auction houses in Utah and Idaho.

If the seller does not arrange for a brand inspection, it could  be a sign of a scam or the selling of stolen livestock.

For those who have experienced this type of scam, contact your local law enforcement office to report the offense immediately.

For more information about brand inspections or to find your local brand inspector, visit ag.utah.gov/farmers/animal-industry/.

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1 Comment

  • john sorg September 18, 2023 at 11:25 am Reply

    Yep, the scammers thrive when things get dicey. The cost of a barrel of crude oil is probably going to hit $300 soon. With that, the price of metals, iron, copper, aluminum, nickel, and such, let’s not forget rare metals, which will drive everything through the roof. Electronics, construction, automobiles, whatever is made with metal.

    And then, we have the meat issue! Cattle, pigs, chicken, the usual suspects, but even lamb and goat, ducks and goose, hunting probably will be more acceptable and lucrative in the meat business.

    And let’s not forget eggs and milk! And with that, goes bread. Fruits vegetables and fertilizer, a lot of the fertilizer is made from petroleum. The scammers will try to extract every last cent out of their victims. Because all it is is a pyramid, once the top has been breached, everything else falls.

    If you can’t see this handwriting on the wall, you are absolutely self deluded and willfully blind!

    Revelation the 6th chapter kind of discusses this whole issue. Basically it says that because of shortages of everything, people will ask the mountains to fall over them. In scripture it usually means concerning mountains, those are the great governments of the world. And people expect the governments to protect them. But there will be no help. Because all the governments are in the same boat. The threat of war will not be because of politics, it’ll be because of resources.

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