FILE PHOTO Tobi Loftus

SCAM: Drought-hit farmers targeted by fake hunters

FARMERS are being warned not to fall for scams where people claim to be beef or wild game wholesalers, offering high returns which never come through.

Queensland Police Service has warned people to be wary after several fraud complaints were made to the Major and Organised Crime Squad (Rural).

Fraudsters offer high returns, but fail to pay up once the meat is sold.

Producers are urged to be cautious when selling to new and unknown buyers or wholesalers.

Police are also reporting more instances of trespassers on rural properties across the state, mostly for hunting.

Detective Inspector Mick Dowie said people were often found driving on remote areas of large properties and could face hefty fines if trespassing for hunting including feral pigs.

"We often find that people committing opportunistic theft when they come across machinery such as pumps, generators and quad bikes and will use the excuse they are only hunting if challenged by the farmer," he said.

"These thieves and reckless hunters give legitimate hunters with appropriate approvals a bad name and farmers and producers simply close off their properties to protect themselves and their interests.

"We will prosecute trespassers on rural properties to protect property owners and industry as they have enough on their hands with the current drought conditions. Landholders are urged to report trespassers using the Policelink 'stock and rural crime' smartphone app and we encourage you to use this to send emails and photographs of offenders and their vehicles, as long as it is safe to do so. Otherwise we encourage anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000."

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