With single farm payments starting to arrive in farm bank accounts this week, National Farmers Union Scotland is warning farmers to stay vigilant to protect their bank accounts and payments.
Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead told attendees at the recent NFUS Seminar
This year’s payment run brings a more immediate threat that requires producer vigilance. Telephone banking scams targeting farm businesses have been a sad feature of 2014 and a major bank has already spoken to NFUS to raise its concern that there may be a spike in this kind of criminal activity now that the SFP payment run has been made.
The reminder is that your bank would never ask you over the phone to transfer money to protect your account from fraud. If you receive a call of this nature, or any call you are suspicious of, you should end the conversation and call your bank on a trusted number, using a different phone line if possible.
The good cheer brought by having SFP safely in the farm account for Christmas would quickly dissipate were anyone to fall for this cruel scam.
In the scam known as ‘vishing’, a fraudster will call their victim saying that they are from the bank and asking them to move funds from their account to a safe account to prevent fraud. Fraudsters even go as far as asking their victim to hang up and call the bank number on the back of their bank card. The victim hangs up then redials the bank number but the fraudster hasn’t hung up and kept the line open so the victim then thinks they are talking to their own bank and the fraudulent transfer is then carried out.
Advice from Police Scotland for anyone who gets this type of call is
- We would advise that if you are telephoned by anyone pertaining to be from your bank to telephone your bank back especially if it involves transferring money, providing or confirming your bank details.
- Always look up your bank’s telephone number and do not use a number the caller provides. Furthermore, if you do decide to ring back and verify the call it is advisable to do so on a different phone line, like another landline or on your mobile.
- If this isn’t possible, leave at least 30 minutes between receiving the suspect call and making a new call. Some scammers keep the phone line open and will reconnect as soon as you dial a new number; continuing the scam by pretending to be a different person from the bank.
- Always be suspicious if someone reporting to be from your bank or any organisation requests you to transfer money, asks for your bank or personal details. Above all, if there is the slightest doubt, attend in person at your branch.
If anybody has any concerns regarding telephone fraud they are asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.