Goat scams are becoming more common and popping up everywhere you look. Unfortunately with any rapidly growing industry, there are dishonest people looking to make a quick dollar. Here are some of the goat scams that I have had first hand knowledge of over the years in this rapidly growing industry:
I think the first and most disturbing scam that comes to my mind is one time, during the summer months, we had a load of percentage market bucks that we had taken to the local livestock auction. While at the auction, we met a goat buyer whom did not know that we had goats. As he sat next to us, we talked to him and he said that he was there to buy goats for a popular production sale that I am not going to mention the name of because it is a yearly sale, that was being held that fall. He told us that he and his partner try to buy young bucks or does cheap and raise them to resell at the fall sale. While sitting next to him during the goat sale, he did end up winning the bid on one of the market bucks that we had taken. This market buck had very distinct markings on his head and was only 88% boer. Needless to say, that fall we happened to be in the area of this popular sale and decided to stop in and take a look at the goats that were there. We did find that 88% boer buckling with an ear tag partially covering the tattoos that I had placed in his ears and paperwork attached to him that said he was a fullblood 100% boer out of a totally different bloodline than what he was from. Beware at these sales that you are getting what you think you are getting for your money. Apparently someone just retaged him under their herd and either had a fullblood doe that died and never reported her death or they had a fullblood doe that kidded with a single kid and told the registry that she had quads or something like that to apply for the extra paperwork. I feel sorry for the people who bought this animal at the sale and thought they were getting a fullblood herd sire. Dont be afraid to check the animals over that you are buying and take notice to identifying marks such as tattoos to make sure the goat is the goat listed on the paperwork and you are getting what you are paying for.
Another scam is some producers will sell animals as being able to be registered or registered even though they dont hold the paperwork to the sire or the dam or the goat you are buying. When buying a registered or able to be registered animal dont be afraid to ask to see the paperwork of the sire and dam or of the goat you are buying. Any reputable breeder will be able to provide you with a photo copy of the paperwork or allow you to see it for yourself. This will take care of future problems when you are unable to get the goat registered because the paper trail has never been taken care of. Or, if you are having a goat shipped, make sure you have the proper paperwork first before the goat is sent. You may now own a goat and not be able to get the papers for them.
Shipping scams have died down a little bit from what they were years ago due to the fact that people are getting wise on it. One popular shipping scam is someone will contact you wanting to buy a goat. Then they will tell you that they are having a transport company pick the goat up and they want to send you the money in the form of a check and then you pay the hauler cash when they arrive or they want you to transfer the funds from your bank account directly to the transport company. Either way, the check is no good and you are the one out money if you are not careful. Most of these scams want to buy a goat for a few hundred dollars and pay thousands in transport fees. Just think about it, it doesnt even make sense why someone would only spend a couple hundred on a goat and thousands on hauling.
Production sales are a good place to be taken advantage of too. Unfortunately people send cull goats to production sales so when you buy a goat at a production sale, you are most likely getting someone elses junk. It is difficult to tell if an animal at a production sale is a sound breeder or not just by looking at them without knowing the history but I can assure you that any breeder isnt going to send their best brood doe or herd sire to a production sale. Most of the animals that end up at production sales are animals with problems being bred or breeding, birthing, raising kids, abort, produce small or unhealthy kids, or are otherwise a burden to the owner.
Another thing that I feel is a scam is a breeder that sends you pictures of goats and when you decide to buy them they require a huge deposit (1/2 or more of the purchase price) or the entire amount to be paid before you ever get to lay eyes on what you are buying with a no refund policy. In every instance that I know of, the buyer should beware! If you are paying for something you have never seen in person, chances are, the animal is not what it should be or is unhealthy in some way, shape, or form, and would be an animal that you would not have bought had you seen it in person. Beware of huge deposits and no refund policies!
Another popular scam are goat brokers. Goat brokers are basically people who either advertise online or in the newspapers that you can place your order with them and they will get you whatever type of goat you want and whatever number you request. For example, you want to get started in the boer goat industry and need 25 brood does and a buck so you place that order with a goat broker. The goat broker then has local buyers at several different area livestock markets that buy these animals that are cull animals and intended for slaughter purposes only. You now have a herd full of junk that other breeders have sent to be slaughtered. Just remember that a livestock market is never a good place to buy breeding stock from. All animals that enter the livestock market are intended for slaughter purposes and are housed with numerous diseased or terminal animals before and after the sale. If you buy breeding stock from livestock markets or brokers who inturn buy them from livestock markets you are setting yourself up for a big let-down.