Fraud & Farming
Are you protecting your livelihood at this vulnerable time of year?
With Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments anticipated to start arriving into bank accounts in December, H&H Land & Estates, is keen to warn farmers and farming businesses to be on their guard against the threat of fraud.
The National Crime Agency reports that fraud is the most commonly experienced crime in the UK costing many billions of pounds a year. The impact of fraud can be devastating and embarrassing, and it is essential to protect your livelihood against it and keep one step ahead.
For the farming community, this is never more important than the run-up to Christmas when farmers are specifically targeted, in particularly around December, as fraudsters are aware of large payments being received. Tracey Jackson, Associate and Chartered Surveyor, explains how important it is to be vigilant when dealing with financial transactions:
“Be on your guard, scams do happen, and we know people that has happened to. It is an opportunist crime, fraud is non-discriminatory, and everyone is a target. Be very clear who you are transferring money to and why, before you enter into any financial transaction and never transfer money to unknown sources.”
In total, fraud amounts to £3.6bn per year. It comes in many guises – data breaches continue to be a key enabler of fraud, but telephone scamming also remains a near and present danger. In fact, £1.8bn a year is through telephone scamming and the fraudsters are clever and convincing, with caller ID having the name of the bank. And this is only the recorded amount, many who have been scammed are too embarrassed to report it, so the overall figure is likely much higher.
“With the imminent payments from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) and Christmas approaching, farming clients need to be aware and extra careful. Fraudsters know about these payments hitting bank accounts at this time, so they are becoming a key target.
Tracey reminds clients that Banks and the RPA will never call anyone requesting they change their bank account details, move money or confirm details over the phone. If you get a call from them wanting to do this, leave the phone call and call your bank to verify the details. If the matter is confirmed to not be genuine, report the attempted fraud to https://www.actionfraud.police.uk, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre, to ensure that such incidents are recorded to try and avoid further targets of others. Tracey concludes:
“If you have any concerns, please contact your Bank and if you think you have been a victim of a scam please let your Bank and Action Fraud know immediately. It’s only when we report these actual frauds and near misses, that we can keep ahead of the ever-increasing variety of frauds.”