Farmers who receive subsidy payments have been reminded by the Rural Payments Agency to be wary of fraudsters.
Subsidy claimants have been encouraged to take measures to ensure they do not fall victim to these types of scams this coming winter.
In the past, farmers have received emails, texts and telephone calls claiming to be from the RPA or Defra.
Links to a website mocked up to look like an RPA or Defra online service can sometimes be included in the message.
Criminals have also been known to pose as banks, as well as authorities such as the police, to attempt to extort money though illegitimate means.
The RPA issued new guidance: "We do not send emails or text messages with links to websites asking you to confirm your personal details or payment information.
"We strongly advise anyone who receives such a request not to open the link and delete the item."
How can I prevent fraud?
As fraudsters may target those who receive subsidy payments, the RPA said subsidy claimants must:
• Never discuss your bank account details with someone you do not know
• The RPA will not ask anyone to make a payment over the phone
• Delete any emails or texts you do not believe are genuine, and do not open any links – the RPA's main email addresses are: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
• Be cautious about what information you share externally, particularly on social media
• If you suspect an attempted fraud or feel you’ve been the subject of fraud, you can contact: RPA’s Fraud Referral Team on 0800 347 347 or FraudInConfidence@rpa.gov.uk; Action Fraud (the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber-crime) on 0300 123 2040