Fraudsters have been advertising agricultural vehicles and machinery online, prompting a police warning.

Dorset Police Rural Crime Team say that agricultural equipment, including vehicles and machinery, is being fraudulently advertised on online selling platforms.

A spokesman said: "The victims, after communicating via email with the fraudster, will receive a bogus email which appears to be sent by a trustworthy third party, often PayPal or Escrow. The emails are designed to persuade victims to pay upfront via bank transfer rather than through a protected payment method via the website.

"The victim pays the deposit before visiting the seller to collect the goods, believing there is a ‘cooling off’ period to reclaim the payment if they change their mind.

"This gives victims the false sense of security that their money is being looked after by this trustworthy third party, when in fact, it is not and the money has gone straight to the fraudster."

Police advise that people never transfer money before seeing a vehicle in person, and avoid paying by bank transfer.

Carry out research on the seller if you do not know them.

Frauds can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.