Ofsted has warned the education community to be vigilant after a childminder was targeted by fraudsters in a text scam.
The education watchdog issued guidance on Wednesday after a childminder had received a text from someone posing as Ofsted and asking her to call a mobile phone number.
However when the victim called the line she was later charged a “significant” sum of money, believed to be around £60.
It is the only case Ofsted has been made aware of to date, but the watchdog has now issued a warning to early years providers, and the wider education community.
A spokesperson said: “Ofsted will never text early years providers and ask them to call a mobile number.”
Ofsted will never text you and ask you to call a mobile number. Real scam, please RT #earlyyears
— Matthew Coffey HMI (@Ofsted_MCoffey) August 5, 2016
Schools Week reported in February how a prankster called Uncle Rafool has called more than 150 schools across the country impersonating an Ofsted inspector – telling staff they had lost their jobs before uploading the recording onto YouTube.
Heads who had fallen prey to the prank called it distressing and time-wasting.
We also revealed last year how schools had been scammed out of thousands of pounds after their phone systems were hacked and calls diverted to pricey premium-rate numbers.
Schools in at least two different regions had called in police to investigate phone bills running into five-figures.