Computer screen showing basic payment scheme website© Gary Naylor

The Welsh Government has promised it will pay 91% of Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) claims on the first day of the 2017 payment window (Friday 1 December).

The announcement was made by the Welsh environment and rural affairs secretary, Lesley Griffiths, at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.

Stephen James, NFU Cymru president, said the announcement would come as a boost to farmers and the thousands of rural businesses that rely on the agricultural sector for much of their income.

See also: BPS 2017 cash rates confirmed 5% higher than last year

But he warned farmers to be vigilant in case they were targeted by fraudsters as a result.

“At this time of the year when many farming businesses receive CAP payments, unfortunately fraudsters may use this as an opportunity to target farmers who receive such payments,” he said.

“As these payments are vital to the livelihood of many businesses, it is important that farmers are fully aware that there are criminals trying to obtain money from farmers by deception.

“Fraudsters can send emails to try and obtain passwords for bank accounts or even try and trick you into making payments into different bank accounts.”

BPS payments in 2017 will be nearly 5% higher than last year as a result of a more favourable exchange rate.

Beat the fraudsters

  • Your bank, police or Rural Payment Wales will never ask you to reveal your online password, PIN or bank account details or ask you to make a payment over the telephone
  • Never discuss your bank account details with someone you don’t know, or open unknown or unexpected website links or emails
  • If in doubt, call the organisation back, ideally on a different telephone, using a number you are familiar with or you know to be official. You can usually find this on the organisation’s website, correspondence or statement
  • Look out for emails from suppliers asking for funds to be transferred to a different bank account, or emails claiming there is a problem with an account
  • If you feel you’ve been a victim of fraud, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 without delay for advice and to register your concern.