The West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) would like to warn West Virginians about a scam being run against individuals who have hay for sale. The WVDA has received alerts from our National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) partners about scammers contacting hay sellers.

“We have seen scams like this in the past in West Virginia, so our goal is just to make sure the public is aware that these scams do exist,” stressed Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Leonhardt. “If you do believe someone is attempting to scam you, please contact the department at 304-558-3200.”

The supposed hay buyer will send the seller a check for more than the amount the hay is being sold for and then ask the seller to wire the extra money somewhere else. The scammers explain the overpayment by saying they need to cover taxes or shipping costs; however, the check bounces and the scammer already has the money wired to them. The hay seller is then left to pay the money back to the bank.

The WVDA recommends always reaching out to your local law enforcement agency and the West Virginia Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Agency if something seems fishy about a transaction or purchase.