Farmers, particularly those in the Lothians and Borders areas, have been warned to be vigilant if they receive phone calls from people claiming to be from Royal Bank of Scotland.
NFU Scotland said that members had reported a number of occasions where a caller claimed there was fraudulent activity on their accounts. The callers then asked the farmers to confirm their bank details.
On one occasion, according to the union, the call even appeared to come from a genuine Royal Bank of Scotland number. But when asked by the farmer to confirm their name and local branch, the caller became abusive and hung up. The farmer checked with his bank and they confirmed it was a scammer.
The union’s finance director, Colin Gordon, said: “This is such a busy time of year for agricultural transactions that farmers could be easily caught out by alarming calls from people claiming to represent their bank’s fraud department. Do not fall for this.”
While all the calls had so far been concentrated in the Lothians and Borders areas, he added: “If this is happening in one region it is only a matter of time before other areas are targeted and experience has shown that these tend not to be isolated incidents.”
Gordon said: “Your bank will never phone or email you and ask for your online password information or any password using your online banking token or card and reader. They will never ask you to make a payment over the phone by using your online account.
“If you receive a call claiming to be from your bank and they suggest you call them back, ensure you use a different phone as the caller may still be on the line without you knowing.”