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Fraudsters Targeting Independent Schools

on Friday, 12 January 2018.

The Charity Commission has issued a regulatory alert about a current trend in fraudulent activity targeting independent schools, their parents and students.

If you have not already seen the alert, it is available from the Charity Commission website and we recommend that you read it in full including the Charity Commission's prevention advice.

According to the regulatory alert, the fraud appears to involve compromising the school's email and computer systems. This enables fraudsters to contact parents and fee-payers to persuade them to make payments of school fees into the fraudsters account. The impression given is of a sophisticated fraud which builds confidence with a pattern of apparently legitimate contact through multiple channels, including plausible commercial offers like discounts for early payment.

If you think that your school may have been affected by this fraud you will need to consider a range of issues, including:

  • management of the underlying data protection incident
  • serious incident reporting to the Charity Commission
  • dealing with lost payments.

For further information, please contact Barney Northover in our Independent Schools team on 0117 314 5395.