An Orkney farmer, looking to purchase a tractor through an online site, has been scammed.

The purchase of the tractor through the well-known site eBay saw the farmer transfer payment for the tractor to what appears to be a fake account and now the seller of the tractor is un-contactable.

The incident serves as a sad reminder to all farmers and crofters of the need to be vigilant when undertaking online purchases.

Orkney regional chairman Alan Corrigall said:

It is always upsetting to hear about scams hitting the farming community, especially when it is within our own region.

“The reality is that those looking to scam and defraud are ever present and this incident must help serve as a reminder to all of the potential pitfalls when purchasing online.”

Commenting on the incident, chief inspector Matt Webb of Kirkwall Police Station said:

We have received a report involving a fraud where tractors are being advertised for sale online and payment requested to be made through a fake PayPal account.

“We would always urge people to be vigilant and to do their due diligence when buying online, particularly if purchasing expensive equipment.

“Fraudsters go to great lengths to make themselves appear legitimate so it is important to take your time to ensure you are buying from a genuine seller.”