Calls to remain vigilant have been issued after a farmer fell for a telephone scam which saw his bank account stripped of a five-figure sum.

While wishing to remain anonymous, the farmer, based in Orkney, has shared his story with NFU Scotland in the hope that others will not fall for similar scams.

The call, made on Monday 4 March, purported to come from the the farmer’s bank.

The scammer had manipulated the caller ID displayed on the receiving phone to make it look like the call was coming from the bank.

The scammer called seeking confirmation that a large payment made electronically to HMRC was genuine.

It obviously wasn’t a genuine payment and the fraudster then offered to help stop the payment going through.

The scammer went on to use the information he had gleaned during the call to move significant funds out of the farmer’s account.

NFU Scotland has now urged farmers to remain ‘vigilant’ over scams and to never give out bank details over the phone or online.

The union’s Orkney secretary, Kenny Slater said: “We have had two members call this week advising us that they have been subject to scam phone calls.

“The most serious was from a member who was scammed out of a five-figure sum of money on Monday evening (4 March).

“Although he doesn’t want to be identified, the member is keen to share his terrible experience; making others aware of the types of calls being made to hopefully prevent others becoming victim to ever more sophisticated scams,” he said.

Farmers are more likely to be targeted given the availability of a landline number, with older people particularly at risk.

According to rural accountant Old Mill, some are even being threatened with legal action unless they pay the supposed fine or tax arrears.

Advice from the police

• Don’t give out any personal information unless you are the one who made the call and you are certain of the identity of the person you are speaking to.

• Don’t give out your credit card or bank card details to strangers on the telephone.

• NEVER tell somebody your bank PIN number, even if they claim to be the bank or police. If the caller is genuine, they will never ask for this information.

• Don’t give out information which may infer that you live alone, are older or vulnerable.

• Never send money to anyone who claims to have a prize for you.

• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Source: Farming UK