Farmers warned to watch out for fraudsters trying to swindle Basic Payment

With the Basic Payment Scheme due to be paid in early December, the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) is warning farmers to beware of fraudsters.

The warning follows an alert issued by Gwent Police.

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

With information about the payments, including the recipients’ names and the amount paid available online, criminals can target farmers directly and make their approach more convincing.

FUW Gwent chief executive Glyn Davies said: “Following similar annual patterns when farmers receive their funding from the Basic Payment Scheme, the police anticipate they will be targeted by the same attempts to fraudulently part with their cash.

Criminals have been known to pose as banks, as well as authorities such as the police, to attempt to extort money through 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.”

The union is urging farmers and landowners to take the following measures to ensure they do not fall victim to these types of scams this coming winter:

  • 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 says they are from the police 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.

If you or anyone know is affected by fraud and cybercrime, contact Action Fraud to report the matter as soon as possible on: 0300-123-2040