Monmouthshire farmers warned to remain vigilant to fraudsters

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Farm businesses in Monmouthshire have been urged to remain extra vigilant to the increased risk of online fraud during the Basic Payment Scheme period.

The call came during the recent Monmouthshire NFU Cymru AGM where guest speaker, Chris Phillips, from the South Wales Police Cyber Crime Unit made a presentation on the importance of protecting accounts online.

Ian Williams the retiring Monmouthshire NFU Cymru County Chair said: “Fraudsters are aware of the timing of BPS and from this, criminals are able to target specific individuals.

“Chris Phillips told us that criminals have been known to pose as members of the 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 Police advise the following steps are implemented to ensure the farming community does not fall victim to these types of scams this coming winter:

  • Never divulge personal information to anyone, over the phone or in person, especially bank account and password information
  • 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 pertaining to be from the Police calls and asks for any transfer of money, hang up. The Police will not do this. If in any doubt, again ensure the previous call is disconnected and dial 101 to see if the call was genuine
  • 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 you know is affected by Fraud and Cybercrime, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 to report the matter as soon as possible.

Kate Beavan, who was elected as the new Monmouthshire NFU Cymru Chair during the meeting said: “I would like to thank Chris Phillips for taking up his time to remind us of the importance of protecting our online accounts. It’s a timely reminder for us all to remain vigilant to possible fraudsters. 

“I would also like to congratulate Ian Williams on a successful two years as chairman of the county and I look forward to continuing to represent our membership in the years ahead.”

Last edited: 11:05 on December 17, 2018

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