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Carmarthenshire

Farming Community warned of targeted fraud attacks

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Dyfed-Powys Police is advising the farming community to be extremely wary of any suspicious calls, texts or emails as a scam specifically targeting the agricultural sector has been identified.

During December farmers start to receive payments through the SFP (Single Farm Payment). Information about the payments is publically available, meaning criminals are able to directly target victims making their approaches appear more convincing.

The scam communications will typically claim that fraud has been detected on the farmer’s bank account and that urgent action is required to safeguard funds.

The victim is then persuaded to divulge personal or financial information, or even to transfer money directly into a so-called ‘safe account’.

With some grants worth thousands of pounds, in past years fraudsters have stolen significant amounts of money from their victims.

Farm finances at risk (Image: NFU Cymru)

Paul Callard, Financial Crime Team, Dyfed-Powys Police said: “If you receive such a call or message, hang up the phone and do not reply directly. Instead, wait five minutes and ring your bank to alert them to the scam, using a phone number that you trust – such as the one from the official website.”

An Action Fraud spokesperson said: “If you receive a call about your payment from the government, take your time to stop and think about what is being asked of you. It could protect you and your money. You will never be asked by the Rural Payments Agency or a government or bank official, to reveal your bank account details or make a payment over the phone. If you think you’ve been the victim of a fraud, report it to Action Fraud immediately by calling 0300 123 2040 or visiting http://www.actionfraud.police.uk.”

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Cows (Image: FUW)

FUW Montgomeryshire County Executive Officer Emyr Wyn Davies said:”Our farming community is an attractive target this time of year for fraud and the consequences of falling into the trap could be financially sever but also cause untold stress and anxiety. We therefore urge farmers to follow the advice given by the police and remain vigilant.”

NFU Cymru President John Davies said: “At this time of year, when the majority of farm businesses will shortly be receiving their BPS payments, it is important that we are all extra vigilant of any suspicious emails or phone calls as fraudsters may try and target farmers.

“Fraud awareness is important all year around, but at this time of year, the BPS payments may attract the attention of fraudsters more so than usual. These payments are vital to the livelihood of many businesses, and it is important that farmers are fully aware that there are criminals out there who may try and take advantage of their good nature.

“Fraudsters can try and obtain passwords for bank accounts, or even try and trick you into making payments into different bank accounts. It is this kind of deception that we need to be extremely careful of.”

Advice on how to avoid this type of scam:

Be wary of:

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  • Any calls, texts or emails purporting to be from your bank, the police, a Government body or other organisation asking for personal or financial details, or for you to transfer money.
  • Cold callers who suggest you hang up the phone and call them back. Fraudsters can keep your phone line open by not putting down the receiver at their end.
  • Any request to check that the number showing on your telephone display matches an organisation’s registered telephone number. The display cannot be trusted, as the number showing can be altered by the caller.

Remember:

  • You will never be asked for your 4 digit PIN or your online banking password, or for you to transfer money to a new account for “fraud reasons”.
  • If you receive a suspicious call, hang up, wait five minutes to clear the line, or where possible use a different phone line, then call your bank or card issuer on their advertised number to report the fraud.

Never disclose your:

  • Four digit card PIN to anyone, including the bank or police.
  • Your password or online banking codes.
  • Personal details unless you are certain you know who you are talking to. People are not always who they say they are.

(Lead image: Robin Greenwood / Pixabay)

Carmarthenshire

Aberglasney opens doors to unseen areas of Grade 2 listed mansion for CADW event

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Aberglasney Gardens will offer special tours of the upper floors of the Grade 2 listed Mansion House during September as part of Cadw’s national ‘Open Doors’ event.

The fully restored ground floor of the mansion was opened in 2013 by award winning actor Damian Lewis and is open daily. The unrestored upstairs rooms are not usually accessible but each Wednesday during September the public are invited to join our guide on a series of special tours. These tours will give a unique insight into the history of what was once one of Carmarthenshire’s most important houses.

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Aberglasney’s Director of Operations, Jim Stribling, said, “We are delighted to be able to offer visitors to Aberglasney a different kind of experience during September with this opportunity to view the upper floors of the mansion house, which are very rarely open to the public.

“These will be guided tours with Maddy explaining what these floors would have looked like over the years prior to the house being left to deteriorate.”

Whilst normal garden admission prices will apply the guided tours of the upstairs rooms are free. Tours are limited to 10 people so those interested are requested to book their place in advance to avoid disappointment. The tours will start at 2pm every Wednesday during September.

The tour promises a look inside parts of the historic mansion previously off-limits
A glimpse into some of the previously unseen sections of Aberglasney Mansion House

Aberglasney’s mansion house has been home to many a colourful character over the last 500 years – poets and artists, a Bishop, a High Sheriff, architects and solicitors, drinkers and those who fiercely abstained.

However, prior to recent restoration it had been hard to visualise the grandeur of time gone by after decades of decline when the mansion stood uninhabited, neglected and vandalised. 

Today, the centre of the mansion is covered by a glass roof and is home to the ‘Ninfarium’, Aberglasney’s award winning sub-tropical indoor garden, where plants grow amongst the ruinous remains. The rest of the ground floor has been fully restored and is used for art & craft exhibitions and as a meeting venue. 

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There is no disabled access to Aberglasney’s upper floors and those taking part will be required to climb several staircases during the course of the tour. Remember also that the areas of the Mansion to be visited are unrestored and special care will need to be taken when navigating these rooms and visitors will do so at their own risk. 

This September more than 150 of Wales’ historic sites, landmarks and hidden gems will offer visitors free entry, events or guided tours. It’s all part of Open Doors — Wales’ annual contribution to the European Heritage Days initiative, which invites heritage organisations, private owners, local authorities and others to open their doors or offer activities to the public free of charge. 

Organised by Cadw, the ever-popular festival of Wales’ built heritage will this year, encourage Welsh residents and visitors alike to explore some of the country’s lesser-known and smaller-scale sites ― several of which are usually closed to the public.

(Lead image: Nigel McColl)

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Carmarthenshire

First Cymru announce changes to some bus services in August and September

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Regional bus operator First Cymru have announced some changes to their bus services in Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire in August and September.

The changes include introducing new routes and rerouting others.

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In Carmarthenshire:

From Sunday 28 August, the X11 service is being rerouted in Burry Port at the request of the county council. The service will no longer run along Glanmor Terrace in the town, but will run along the coastal bypass before travelling past the new Ysgol Parc-y-Tywyn and joining the existing route along Church Road.

In Pembrokeshire:

The 302 service between Milford Haven and Hubberston to Haverfordwest and Withybush Hospital will be extended to run to Withybush Industrial Estate from Sunday 28 August.

The 349 service between Tenby and Haverfordwest will extend to Withybush Hospital from Sunday 28 August on the request of Pembrokeshire Council.

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In Swansea:

The Service 8 University bus between will see its frequency increased to every 30 minutes from Sunday 21 September due to university arrivals. Then from 25 September the service will revert to its University term timetable.

Also from 25 September a brand new Service 8A will run as a shuttle service between Hendrefoilan Student Village and the University’s Singleton Campus.

Service 9 and 9A will be merged from 25 September into a new Service 9 route providing a through-service between the University’s Singleton Campus and Bay Campus travelling via Swansea Bus Station and Fabian Way Park & Ride.

Service 10 will increase its frequency to run on its term time timetable, and a new Service 10A shuttle service will begin operating from Monday to Friday in the morning and afternoon peaks between the City Centre on Kingsway and Bay Campus. When combined with services 8 and 10, this will then provide a bus to the University campuses up to every 6 minutes.

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In Townhill and Mayhill, Services 11, 12 and 13 will see their routes changed slightly in the city centre from 25 September to run via Kingsway to provide another city centre stop. The timetable will also be altered slightly due to the new route.

In West Swansea, Service 20 to Derlwyn will see its some slight changes to its timetable, while Service 20A will no longer serve Wimmerfield Avenue in Killay.

Service 21A to Three Crosses will see it’s service number change to 21 instead. There will also be some slight changes to its timetable.

A new Service 23 is being introduced from 25 September which will operate hourly between Swansea and Killay running through Swansea University, Singleton Hospital and also Wimmerfield Avenue in Killay.

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Carmarthen

Fire Service in search for new Carmarthenshire firefighters

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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has launched a hunt for new firefighters to join its Carmarthenshire fire stations.

It’s looking for people who live within 10 minutes of fire stations in Carmarthen, Llandysul and Newcastle Emlyn to become On-Call firefighters.

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On-Call firefighters get paid to respond to emergencies. They do not staff the fire stations 24 hours a day, like full-time firefighters, but get notified of an emergency call via a personal pager, which they carry with them when they are on duty.

Most On-Call Firefighters have other jobs with an agreement from their employers to leave to attend an emergency call if required. Others are available outside typical working hours like evenings, weekends, or between school runs.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service say they’re looking for people wh consider themselves to be reasonably fit and healthy, who want to be of service to your local community.

They say applicants should be someone who can always be relied on to be somewhere on time, committed to maintaining your physical fitness, maintaining and developing your skills.

You should be someone who has the sensitivity to deal with members of the public when they are distressed, confused, or being obstructive, can get on with people from different backgrounds and cultures and work as part of a close-knit team.

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You should also be someone who works well under pressure, think on your feet and solve problems.

In return, if you become an On-Call Firefighter, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service say they will provide all the training and support required to respond to emergency incidents such as property fires, road traffic collisions, and incidents involving flooding, rescues from height, and many other specialist emergency calls. You will also receive training to deliver Community Safety advice that will help keep people safe in their homes and communities.

In addition to having an exciting career, you will earn a salary-based pay and, from your induction day as an On-Call Firefighter, you will be able to contribute to the Firefighters Pension Scheme

The fire service say they work with local employers to release their staff to respond to emergency incidents.

To apply or for more information visit Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s website.

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(Lead image: Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service)

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