Farmers warned of targeted fraud attacks

Farmers are being warned to be wary of fraudsters who are targeting businesses to steal their EU farm payments.

Scammers target farmers at this time more than any other period in the year, as December is the month when European Union grants, covering agri-environment and Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments are paid to the industry.

Financial Fraud Action UK said farmers should be particularly wary of suspicious calls, texts or emails.

See also: How cybercriminals target farms and machinery buyers

This December, Tarian – the Regional Organised Crime Unit for southern Wales – is also expecting an influx of calls and emails to the farming community, attempting to trick them out of their money.

Following similar annual patterns when farmers receive their funding from the BPS, the police anticipate they will be targeted by the same attempts to defraud them.

Crooks pose as banks

Criminals have been known to pose as banks, as well as authorities such as the police, to attempt to extort money though illegitimate means. They will either contact the victims via telephone, email or in person and request that money be moved to “safer” locations, due to bogus security issues.

They will create a sense of urgency and may even know minor details about the victims to convince them they are genuine.

Fraudsters can also send emails to try to obtain passwords for bank accounts.

Top tips to fend off the fraudsters

Framers and landowners are advised to take the following measures to ensure they do not fall victim to these types of scams this coming winter

  • Your bank, police or the Rural Payments Agency 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 divulge personal information to anyone, over the phone, in person or on the computer from an email or pop-up message or advert.
  • If someone from the bank does call, hang up and using a different line or contacting a family member to ensure the previous call has disconnected, contact the bank directly and ascertain if the call was genuine. If it really is the bank calling, they won’t mind.
  • If someone saying they are from the police calls and asks for any transfer of money, hang up. The police will never do this.
  • Don’t click on any links or open any attachments from unsolicited emails. Check the sender’s details thoroughly before replying and as always, make contact with the sender separately and directly to ensure an email’s validity.
  • Look out for emails from suppliers asking for funds to be transferred to a different bank account or emails claiming that there is a problem with an account.
  • If you or anyone you know is affected by fraud and cybercrime, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to report the matter as soon as possible.
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