FARMERS have been told to be wary of fraudsters preying on farm payments after a south Cumbrian farmer was targeted.

Farm leaders are urging farmers to protect themselves against attempted fraud.

It comes after the National Farmers Union says it has received reports that fraudsters have targeted individuals receiving Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) payments, such as Basic Payment Scheme.

With monies now landing for BPS, Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES) claims, the NFU has given a ‘timely reminder’ in its weekly newsletter to farmers.

“It’s important to remain vigilant as fraudsters use sophisticated techniques and may target anyone,” says the newsletter.

Some points to keep in mind include: the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will not call or send emails or texts asking for confirmation of personal details or payment information; never discuss bank account details with unknown people; RPA will not ask for a payment over the telephone; delete any emails or texts which are not genuine; and don’t open links unless they are from the main RPA email addresses:,, and

“Be cautious about what information you share externally, particularly on social media,” says the newsletter.

If anyone suspects an attempted fraud, or feel they have been the subject of fraud, contact the RPA’s Fraud Referral Team on 0800347347 or or Action Fraud (the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber-crime) on 0300 123 2040.