2015-04-17 

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New Guidance to Stop Fraudsters Targeting Farmers

With over 40% of all businesses in the UK experiencing fraud last year, Lloyds Bank has published a new guide on the issue and is urging farmers to be especially careful now that the busy season is underway.

Andrew Naylor, Lloyds Bank’s head of agriculture, says the growing problem of fraud has been discussed by the banks, the NFU and the British Banking Association, all of whom agree that farmers needed more support in tackling the issue.

Fraud Guidance

‘Fraud Guidance’
published by Lloyds Bank, a copy can be downloaded here

“We hope this new guide will now go some way to raising awareness of the issue and how to prevent it,” he says.

“All banks and types of business can be affected, but farms are particularly susceptible at certain times of the year. We’ve seen some worrying evidence that 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.”

Mr Naylor says there are several types of deception – card and chequebook fraud, account takeover, and false applications. And while bank cards are very susceptible, it is internet scams that are on the rise.

“The latest term is ‘vishing’, where banking details, passwords and personal security data are obtained via a fraudulent phone call,” explains Mr Naylor.

“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 that 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.”

Mr Naylor says other cons include ‘spoofing’ where email addresses and phone numbers from banks are mimicked; ‘phishing’ which involves email scams and potentially imitation website; and the use of malware – malicious software that hides in email attachments and captures log in details and passwords.

“There are some basic steps that 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 don’t use the same device for web browsing as you use for online banking. Check you have properly closed down your online banking pages, and if you use a card reader, remove the card as soon as you’ve logged on.”

More handy tips and case studies are available from the booklet ‘Fraud Guidance’, published by Lloyds Bank to help customers keep their bank accounts and money safe.

Lloyds

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