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‘Heartbreak’ after Orkney NFUS member scammed out of five-figure sum

Orkney’s farmers are being reminded of the dangers of scams after local farming union members reported being the victims of elaborate and convincing cons.

The farmers union, NFU Scotland is urging its members across the country to remain vigilant against fraudulent telephone scams after one of their members here in Orkney was scammed out of a five-figure sum of money.

The union member, who wishes to remain anonymous, has said fell for an elaborate telephone scam and has shared his story in the hopes that others will not fall for similar scams. The message from NFU Scotland remains clear — remain vigilant and do not give out your bank details over the phone or online.

This news comes in the same week that police revealed an estimated £50,000 has been stolen from people in Orkney since the start of 2019 alone.

Speaking last week, Orkney secretary Kenny Slater, based in Kirkwall, 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. The call purported to come from the member’s bank. The most worrying aspect of this incident was that the scammer had manipulated the caller ID displaying on the receiving phone to make it look like the call was coming from the bank.

“The scammer called seeking confirmation from our member that a large payment being 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 our member’s account.”

The advice from Police Scotland is:

• 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.

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