Coronavirus: Scammers trying to dupe free school meals families

Parents have been receiving scam emails suggesting their children’s school is closing and requesting bank details to pay for free school meals.

Durham Constabulary warned schools about the fraud today posting online: “Parents are receiving emails suggesting schools are closing & all pupils are being given free meals followed by a request for bank details so parents can be supported.

“Fraudsters stop at nothing & follow trends to trick you. Nobody will ask for money this way.”

St Bede’s Catholic School and Sixth Form Centre, in Durham, shared a message on Facebook from the local authority.

They say the scam email sent to some parents said: “‘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 school’s post added: “I would just like to confirm this is a scam email and is not from the local authority. We urge you and parents that if you receive any emails like this, please do not respond and delete it immediately. Please could you ensure all parents are informed about this issue.”

Schools in Scotland and Wales are due to close and an announcement by education secretary Gavin Williamson is expected shortly.