Aden Brook Farms Warns Hay Buyers and Suppliers of Rampant Hay Scams

Aden Brook Farms ( is sending out a warning to hay suppliers and buyers across the U.S. and Canada to beware of “hay scams.”

Pine Bush, NY, November 12, 2007 --( Aden Brook Farms ( is sending out a warning to hay suppliers and buyers across the U.S. and Canada to beware of “hay scams.”

Despite—or because of—the high level of trust in the agriculture industry, some scammers are taking advantage of farmers and other hay suppliers and buyers. No longer is it just an occasional crooked hay dealer overstating the weight of the bales. These hay scams are full-blown operations, taking advantage of trusting, hardworking people.

The typical scam begins in a seemingly standard way: a potential “customer” sends an e-mail to a farmer or hay supplier inquiring about the prices of the supplier’s hay and the possibility of a long distance purchase, usually to a location outside of the country. This “customer” will not negotiate price much but will likely place a sizeable order for which he or she will offer complete upfront payment in the form of a certified check.

The check will arrive and will include a sizeable overpayment. The “customer” contacts the farmer by e-mail or phone and explains that the overpayment is due to the fact that his or her selected shipping company requires an upfront payment. The “customer” claims that he or she cannot pay the shipping company in US funds due to the currency exchange, so he or she asks the farmer to pay the shipping company with the excess funds.

The farmer, eager to fill the customer’s needs and having already accepted payment, will agree to forward the funds to the shipping company. Another person posing as the shipping company representative will then contact the farmer and give him or her an account number—most likely through a Western Union or another legitimate money transfer service—to which to wire transfer the funds.

The unsuspecting farmer or hay supplier will then transfer the overpayment portion of the certified check—sometimes as much $5000 per container—to this account. Because the check is certified, the bank clears it right away and the funds are transferred.

The farmer or hay supplier likely will not hear from this “customer” again. No shipping company will come to pick up the hay. The hay supplier might think that he or she got the better end of the deal—the hay is already paid for, after all—but as many as 34 days later, the check bounces. The bank will take the money right out of the hay supplier’s account without warning and if that overdraws the account, the bank will demand the funds plus a fee.

This exact scam has happened to over 4100 farmers and hay suppliers. The FBI can do nothing to help these farmers because the scam originates from outside of the country over the Internet and there are too many cases like this in the industry and other industries for the FBI to be able to handle each individual circumstance.

Hay suppliers are not the only ones to become victims of hay scams. Hay buyers have as well. Scammers pose as fake hay companies or farmers and target areas of the U.S. that are stricken with drought and where hay is in extremely short supply.

The scammers post ads on free-to-post hay-related search engines in which they describe hay for sale at extremely good prices and customers in need of hay respond. As is the industry standard, the scammers ask for prepayment and will probably accept wire transfers only. The customer will send payment and never hear from them again.

Nick Fitzpatrick, CEO of Aden Brook Farms, offers simple tips for any farmer, hay supplier, or hay buyer to avoid scammers:

1. Always check the person’s e-mail address. Scammers often say that they are part of a reputable hay supplier but use generic email addresses.
2. Pay attention to discussions and e-mails to see if the person slips up. There are many common industry terms that anyone in the industry knows but the scammers do not.
3. Ask the person where he or she is from and then ask for his or her phone number. The area code many not match the location.
4. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. If the price to purchase hay is considerably lower than other quotes or if a person buying hay does not try to negotiate the price very much, then there something wrong.
5. Question overconfidence. A constantly boasting person is probably actually working a very small operation.

Within the last year, Aden Brook Farms has fielded over one hundred scam attempts and has not fallen for a scam even once. To protect hay suppliers and buyers from scams, Aden Brook Farms offers its services as a reputable wholesale hay, straw, and wood shavings company that acts as trusted go-between among hay suppliers and buyers.

About Aden Brook Farms: Aden Brook Farms has been a leading distributor of hay, straw, and wood shavings since its inception in 1998. Aden Brook Farms has connected sellers to buyers and made the products available wholesale to farms and other sales and feeding operations across the United States, from Alaska to Hawaii, and most predominantly in the South and on the East Coast. For more information on Aden Brook Farms products and to purchase wholesale hay, straw, or wood shavings online, visit

Aden Brook Farms
Nick Fitzpatrick
(800) 747-3811