Better Business Bureau of North Alabama is warning the public about Young Farm Equipment, a legitimate business located in Florence, Ala. Scammers have created a fraudulent website using the business’ name and location.

Items advertised for sale on the website include heavy-duty equipment from well-known brands such as Bobcat, Doosan, Caterpillar, John Deere and Kubota.

Bradley Young, the owner of Young Farm Equipment, contacted the BBB and explained how his small business had fallen victim to identity theft. Young stated that he has been receiving calls since November 2022 from individuals who claim they made a purchase through the fraudulent website, but the items were not delivered.

Based upon BBB’s investigation, Young Farm Equipment is located at 12975 Hwy 157, Florence, AL, 35633, and the website domain does not belong to the business. BBB received an incident report from Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office on April 26, 2023, to verify Bradley Young’s account of the situation.

BBB recommends the following tips for safe shopping online:

  • Think before you click. Be especially cautious about email solicitations and online ads on social media sites. Many sketchy retailers advertise great deals or trendy items that don’t measure up to the promotional hype. Some of the best deals are only available online but be careful. It’s easy for a fake site to mimic a famous retailer’s website, so make sure you shop with a legitimate site.
  • Beware of too-good-to-be-true deals. In this case, the item offered for sale was priced at less than half the price of other retailers. Offers on websites and in unsolicited emails may offer discounts on hard-to-find items.
  • Never send money via gift card or wire transfer to someone you have never met face-to-face. Seriously, just don’t ever do it. If they ask you to use a wire transfer, a prepaid debit card, or a gift card; those cannot be traced and are as good as cash. Chances are, you won’t see your money again.
  • Shop with a credit card. In case of a fraudulent transaction, a credit card provides additional protection; it’s easier to dispute charges you didn’t approve or get your money back if there is a problem. Debit cards, prepaid cards, or gift cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card.
  • Be a savvy shopper. When shopping online, take your time and read the fine print before submitting your order. Look for contact information and return policies and do some comparison shopping so you know the suggested retail value of the item. 
  • Protect personal information. Read a site’s privacy policy and understand what personal data is requested and how it will be used. If a site doesn’t have a privacy policy, that’s a big red flag that it may be a scam.
  • Keep documentation of your order. Save a copy of the confirmation page or email confirmation until you receive the item and are satisfied. Know and understand the return policy and keep this documented with your purchase records. According to the FTC, when you shop online, sellers are supposed to ship your order within the time stated in their ads or within 30 days if the ads don’t give a time. If a seller can’t ship within the promised time, they must provide you with a revised shipping date, with the chance to either cancel your order for a full refund or accept the new shipping date.

If you think you have been scammed or have found a suspicious website, report it to BBB Scam Tracker