The Winter Farm Expo is fake, officials warn
By Diego Flammini
Officials in Pennsylvania are warning people that recent messages about a farm show in January are a scam.
Scammers are asking businesses to submit payment to reserve booth space for the Winter Farm Expo, scheduled for Jan. 6 and 7, 2024 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.
This event is fake, says Attorney General Michelle Henry and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding.
“Scammers are creative in their endeavors to prey on people to make a profit,” Attorney General Henry said in a Nov. 14 release. “It is frustrating to see a scam like this surface and potentially tarnish a longstanding attraction event like the Pennsylvania Farm Show. Do not allow yourselves to be fooled: do your research before signing paperwork or sending payment.”
The Pennsylvania Farm Show runs from Jan. 6 to the 13 at the Farm Show Complex.
One flagged ad appeared on the Pennsylvania Food Vendors Facebook page.
The ad calls for crafters, artisans and food vendors to participate in the Winter Farm Expo presented by MS Chicks Co., that spaces for more than 80 vendors are available, and to email Amber Murphy at email@example.com for more information.
Farms.com sent an email to this address and received a response that there’s “few spots remaining and filling up fast.”
Farms.com replied asking how much a vendor space costs and where to send a deposit.
“The fee is charged per day and you can choose either one day or both days,” the email response says. “Check the application form and choose the space you want.”
Farms.com then asked for a link to the application form, which it received.
Farms.com input the URL into a Google tool. The tool indicated it found no unsafe content.
Farms.com did not input any information into the application form.
Scammers may be targeting people in other states too.
A Google search for MS Chicks Co., brought up no results. But searching it on Facebook found similarly worded ads.
In the Mississippi Art Events Facebook page, for example, a user named Virginia Hill is looking for people to participate in the “Amazing Art Extravaganza, presented by MS Chicks Co.”
The event is scheduled for Feb. 2, 3 and 4 at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum and Convention Center in Biloxi.
The booth fee is $70 per day, and like the Winter Farm Expo in Pennsylvania, more than 80 vendor spots are available.
The Mardi Gras Biloxi Showdown is scheduled at the convention center on Feb. 3 and 4.
MS Chicks Co. is also apparently hosting an event in Iowa.
The Treasure-Filled Market is scheduled for Dec. 9 and 10 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, and more than 80 vendor spots are available, according to an ad on the Mount Pleasant Iowa News & Events page posted by Whittney Castro.
But looking at the Iowa State Fairgrounds website, the Iowa State Pigeon Association has an event there on Dec. 8 and 9. And there’s nothing scheduled at the fairgrounds on Dec. 10.