Farmers on Bute have been warned to be on their guard against a banking fraud scam targeting Scotland’s agricultural community.
Over the weekend, members of the National Farmers’ Union Scotland (NFUS) in the Borders and Angus received fake phone calls, and contacted NFUS to advise about unsuccessful attempts to strip thousands of pounds out of their farm accounts.
Unfortunately, in recent weeks, a small number of Scottish farmers have been defrauded of substantial sums of money.
Fraudsters contact farmers claiming that they represent their bank and that suspicious payments or cheques have been set up or drawn against their farm accounts.
They then ask farmers to provide account details to make the account secure, with the intent of illegally accessing and using the funds in that account.
NFU Scotland’s finance director Colin Gordon said: “This is such a busy time of year for farming with lambing, calving and sowing that farmers could be easily caught out by alarming calls from people claiming to represent their bank’s fraud department.
“The banks have asked us to remind farmers that there are a number of simple things to remember to reduce the chances of becoming a victim of deception.
“Firstly, your bank will never phone or email you and ask for your account or password information. They will never ask you to make a payment over the phone by using your online account.
“Secondly, if you receive a call claiming to be from your bank and they suggest that you call them back, ensure that you can hear a dial tone first or, where possible, call the bank using a separate phone line from the one on which you received the inbound call.
“That will prevent a fraudster holding the line open to intercept your return call.”