Telephone scammers who conned more than £600,000 out of farmers in south Lancashire and Yorkshire are now targeting farmers in Wales.
Staff at the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) Denbigh and Flint county office said fraudsters contacted one member on Thursday (3 April).
The con artist tried to persuade a Denbighshire farmer to donate money to a scheme allegedly “backed” by North Wales Police promoting safety for schoolchildren in the region.
But the plucky farmer interrogated the fraudster about the scheme and when he refused to provide a name or telephone number, he sensibly refused to donate any money.
Farmers in south Lancashire and Yorkshire have been conned out of more than £600,000 in another telephone scam targeting farmers and landowners.
In this instance, the farmer is called out of the blue and told their bank accounts have been compromised.
The fraudster holds the line open to intercept the call, and asks the victim to provide their internet log-in details, customer number, passwords or card reader codes to transfer the money into a different account.
In reality, the fraudsters transfer the money into their own account.
Police believe the two sets of scams could be being carried out by the same criminal enterprise.
FUW Denbigh and Flint county executive officer Rhys Roberts said: “Anyone receiving these types of calls should simply ignore them and should not contact their bank to verify anything related to their account. Banks will always write to discuss their customers’ business.
Since Farmers Weekly alerted the farming industry about the scam last week, several more victims have come forward.
One farmer in East Midlands said: “We were also victim of the phone scam on the evening of Sunday 9 March.
“I really did think I was talking to a legitimate bank employee.
“I did not divulge my PIN, password or log-in details verbally to anyone.
“I was talked through the procedure to transfer money into “a new business account” using the card reader.
“Anyone receiving these types of calls should simply ignore them and should not contact their bank to verify anything related to their account. Banks will always write to discuss their customers’ business.”
Rhys Roberts, FUW Denbigh and Flint county executive officer
“At present we have had no money refunded (from the bank), and are in the process of strongly appealing on several grounds.”
Another victim, who did not fall for the scam, said: “I was shocked to hear of the farmer who lost his money in the phone scam as I now believe I may have been targeted too.
A few weeks ago I had a phone call from someone claiming to be from Barclays online banking team checking up on a large withdrawal from our account.
He knew my name address and the farm name. Before I allowed him to proceed I asked him for a telephone number to ring him back and all he would say was to ring the helpline number. I kept asking for his number and eventually said I didn’t believe him and put the phone down.”
Have you been a victim of this scam? Contact the Farmers Weekly newsdesk anonymously on 020 8652 4915 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Remember, your bank will never call, email or text you to ask you for your account number, PIN or password to your account. Farmers who are targeted, should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.