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