Fundraiser set up for teenager left devastated by tractor scam

Teenager Harvey Waters lost more than £8,000 to a rogue eBay tractor seller, having worked hard to save up for the tractor he had wanted since he was a child.

Image: Rachel Waters/GoFundMe

A fundraiser set up to help 14-year-old Harvey regain some of his savings and “restore his faith in humanity” after he was targeted by an online scam, has so far received over £4,000 in donations.

Harvey had been working hard running a vegetable box service and doing odd jobs for people alongside his schoolwork in order to raise enough cash for his own tractor.

Having finally saved up the money, he found an advert on eBay for a John Deere tractor, priced at £8,400.

Despite numerous calls and emails and getting consent from his parents, the advert turned out to be a scam and despite using Paypal, Harvey lost all his savings.

His mother Rachel says he is “absolutely devastated with his dreams and confidence in tatters”. She set up the GoFundMe page last week in hopes of getting back some of his money and boosting his confidence again. In just five days it has already reached around half of the target.

To donate, visit:

(June update : Harvey’s tractor fund is currently at £8,645 of it’s original £8,400 goal!)

With used machinery scams reportedly on the rise since the Covid-19 pandemic – and in-person visits to inspect machinery much more difficult – NFU Mutual issued farmers the following advice for buying used vehicles and machinery:

  • If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is – check the market value and find a legitimate reason the price is low.
  • Check the seller’s contact details (address and telephone number) are valid.
  • Be suspicious of sellers offering to meet half-way at a layby or services – it’s much better to visit their home or business premises.
  • Check important, identifiable features such as serial numbers haven’t been scratched away for example, on trailers or quad ground frames.
  • For CESAR-marked vehicles, you can check whether the item it is recorded as stolen with Datatag, who manage the scheme.
  • As you would with a car, give the vehicle a thorough inspection and test drive.
  • Always check the documentation related to the machinery or vehicle.
  • If you are serious about buying any road-registered vehicles, you can also pay a small fee for an HPI check which will tell you if the vehicle has been stolen, damaged, subject to an insurance claim or has any outstanding finance.
  • Don’t feel pressured into buying or rushing a sale. If it doesn’t seem right it’s much better to give yourself time to do your research before parting with your cash.


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