Warning after fraudsters target parents across the county with a free school meals scam

PUBLISHED: 13:09 25 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:09 25 March 2020

Cambridgeshire County Council headquaters Shire Hal. Picture: Archant

Cambridgeshire County Council headquaters Shire Hal. Picture: Archant

Archant

As part of a daily briefing to the media today (Wednesday) Cambridgeshire County Council has warned parents to be aware of a free school meals scam doing the rounds.

The briefing note said: “We have had reports of parents and carers in receipt of free school meals being targeted by fraudsters. They are contacting parents and carers with messages such as ‘if your child is entitled to free school meals send your bank details to the school and they will help with funding while the school is closed.’

The email contains links for the parents to follow, these emails and links are fake. Do not give your bank details. If you think you have been targeted by a fraudster, do not reply to the email. Instead, contact your school directly.”

On a more positive note, the council says families are following guidance and keeping children at home.

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“Our schools and early years settings across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough remain open, as they continue to look after those children deemed to be vulnerable, and those of critical workers.

“It seems parents are listening to the advice set out by Government – to keep children at home where safe to do so – with the number of children in attendance much lower than originally predicted. There are lots of resources on our ‘learn together’ website to help parents who are keeping their children at home.

Jonathan Lewis, service director for education at Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City council said: “I want to say thank you to those parents who are following the advice of Government and keeping their children at home. You are playing a big part in helping relieve the pressures on the system, and allowing us to prioritise our resources where they are needed most. We are seeing children from critical worker families attending, but I want to reiterate that we will also provide for children who are supported by social care and who have safeguarding and welfare needs.

“We continue to work closely with the Department of Health, our teachers, practitioners and childminders, and have put measures in place to ensure the safety of those children and staff who are in attendance. We are in this together.”

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