Criminals employ increasingly sophisticated fraudulent methods to target farmers and the rural sector and there is a large amount of money, assets and data at risk. To combat this, Rural Protect’s Fraud Cover is imperative across the farming community.
Our standard cover options have an aggregate limit of £10,000 per event or per term, but this can now be amended to £25,000, £50,000, £75,000 or £100,000.
– Telephone fraud cover
– Third party fraud or forgery cover
– Third party electronic funds transfer cover
How do fraud criminals target farmers?
We often hear how criminals use complex methods to target the farming community, and a common mistake for a farmer to make is to think it won’t happen to them.
Below are a selection of fraud claims which we have seen during the current pandemic;
Claim 1: A farm shop was victim of fraud when a customer purchased a large quantity of meat with a fraudulent credit card.
Claim 2: The Insured purchased equipment online and paid via BACS. The machinery was not delivered, and the Insured subsequently discovered that a fraudster had used another company’s details to advertise the products for sale online.
Claim 3: Insured made payment to fraudsters that purported to be a supplier having intercepted emails/invoices and amended account details. The payment went through to the fraudsters.
Tips to avoid falling victim to fraud
What can farmers do to dismiss popular and new forms of fraud?
Being wary of emails
Despite new methods, most cyberattacks come in the form of phishing, where an external email prompts recipients to enter personal information. The email address of senders should always be checked – does it look genuine? Are there spelling mistakes? Are logos high quality?
Being on guard against texts and calls
If farmers receive a call or text requesting sensitive details, they should consider things first. Banks and building societies will never request account details, PINs or log-in details over the phone or via text.
Keeping an eye out for unusual transactions
If farmers keep on top of their accounts, a fraudulent transaction will stick out immediately. If they don’t, one could easily slip under the radar and the fraudster could repeat the transaction.
Considering visitors and impersonators
If farms have on-site visitors or speak with third parties, it should be considered whether they could be impersonators. Looking at the differences between the information they require and the information they are requesting. If something doesn’t weigh up, they should ask for proof of identity and check it with the company directly.
Trusting your gut
Farmers shouldn’t be naïve in thinking cybercriminals won’t attack the farming industry. For many criminals, farmers are an ideal target because of their assets and general lack of security in protecting them. When something doesn’t seem or feel right, it probably isn’t. Farmers should be aware that harvest can be an ideal time for criminals to target farm accounts as payments for crop are released, the same applies to single farm payments, more generally, towards the end of a year.