Coronavirus: Scam emails trying to cash in on parents

Parents are warned to beware of scam emails claiming to offer free school meal vouchers.

Some parents have received the email that states: “As schools will be closing, if you’re entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we’ll make sure you’re supported.”

The Department for Education (DfE) have confirmed that it’s not official and is a scam email. Parents are urged that if they receive such an email then not to respond and to delete it immediately, and to never provide their bank details in such circumstances.

Last week, the Government announced that it was giving schools the flexibility to provide meals, for collection or delivery, or food vouchers to children eligible for free school meals.

Tameside Council is working with local schools and meal providers to ensure suitable systems are in place, with schools contacting parents to make arrangements.

HMRC also has details of other financial scams, including phishing emails and bogus text messages offering rebates. Examples of these can be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/phishing-and-bogus-emails-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples/phishing-emails-and-bogus-contact-hm-revenue-and-customs-examples

Tameside Trading Standards have already warned consumers to beware of scammers who are taking advantage of the covid-19 emergency by charging vastly inflated amounts for in-demand goods.

Chartered Trading Standards Institute guidance on covid-19 related scams can be found at www.tradingstandards.uk/news-policy/news-room/2020/ctsi-issues-warning-over-new-covid-19-related-scams

Tameside Council Executive Leader Councillor Brenda Warrington said: “While the majority are pulling together to help their community, we need to beware the unscrupulous few who are trying to take advantage of the situation.

“Please be vigilant to this email and don’t respond to it. And please be aware that these new scams can take many forms and you should take all necessary precautions. The general rule of scams applies - if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is.”


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