SHOCKING figures have revealed more than 40 per cent of business experienced fraud in 2014.
And with many farmers having suffered fraud themselves, Lloyds Bank has issued a new warning for farmers to be on guard against potential scammers.
Andrew Naylor, Lloyds Bank head of agriculture, said the growing problem of fraud had been discussed by the banks, unions and the British Banking Association, all of whom agree farmers needed more support in tackling the issue.
He said: “All banks and types of business can be affected, but farms are particularly susceptible at certain times of the year. We have seen some worrying evidence fraudsters are starting to understand the farming calendar and now target peak busy periods when farmers are likely to be away from their desk and unable to check details online or via a landline telephone.
“This is especially disturbing as it shows a determination to exploit the farming sector – and makes this booklet very timely.”
Different types of fraud identified by Mr Naylor include:
There had also been a rise in farmers and business people being targeted over the phone and duped in to giving away crucial bank and financial details.
He said: “The latest term is ‘vishing’, where banking details, passwords and personal security data are obtained via a fraudulent phone call.
“Someone will call claiming to be from your bank. They ask you to call them back on an official number, but intercept your return call by holding the line open – then ask you to transfer funds to a ‘safe account’.
“The reality is banks will never ask you to disclose your online passwords and access codes over the phone or ask you to move funds to a ‘safe’ account – so be very wary.
“There are some basic steps which help you safeguard against these rackets. For example, always call back the bank from a different phone line, or check your line is clear first by calling a friend or family member.
“You should also install the latest virus and malware protection, watch for computers running especially slowly and do not use the same device for web browsing as you use for online banking.”
To download the fraud booklet go to www.lloydsbank.com/agriculture
The jargon related to fraud is often baffling, so here is a rundown of the some terms and what they mean:
Spoofing: Where email addresses and phone numbers from banks are mimicked
Phishing: Involves email scams and potentially imitation websites
Malware: Malicious software which hides in email attachments and captures log in details and passwords
Vishing: Obtaining financial and personal details via a scam phonecall