Two parents fall prey to St Lawrence College fees email scam

St Lawrence College Photo Akafinto via Wikimedia Commons

Two parents have made payments to hackers who sent bogus emails asking for St Lawrence College school fees.

The  first fake  email was sent on December 27 and invited recipients to pay their school fees for the Lent and Summer 2019 terms in advance, in order to receive a discount.

The email initially asked parents to make payment in Crypto Currency to secure the discount and further emails from the same perpetrators offered false bank account details into which funds could be paid.

A further email, under the guise of a school registrar, was sent this month.

The school, in College Road, Ramsgate, says an investigation is taking place and the Information Commissioner’s Office has been notified of the data breach.

A spokesman said: “On December 28, we became aware of a potential fraud whereby a fake email account was being used to contact parents offering an early pay discount, with the funds to be placed into non-school accounts or crypto currency.

“Despite the fact that the fraudsters had deliberately targeted the school at a time it was officially closed for Christmas, prompt action was taken and all parents were alerted to the risk, and the police, Action Fraud and the banks’ fraud teams were notified.

“The ICO has also been notified regarding the data breach. We are currently aware of just two payments that were made by overseas parents to the fraudsters, and both families are seeking redress from their banks.

“The fake emails were the result of a quite sophisticated hack, which gave the hackers access to some personal data, primarily email addresses. Parents have been assured that additional cyber security measures have since been implemented to further improve the defences against such threats.”

3 Comments

  1. What is wrong with people-other than greed & still thinking they live in the 1950’s when supposedly you could leave your doors unlocked all day & everybody was honest?

    Why would a school that is closed be writing to you for fees? Why would they not be putting it in letter form? Why would they ask you to pay them in Bitcoins & into a non school account or into cyberspace? Why would they offer you a discount for immediate payment?

    The police keep saying the scams are sophisticated-but the majority of them aren’t-like this one of you stop to think for five seconds none of it makes any logical sense, or the correspondence is poorly written by somebody whose first language is plainly not English & they tend to arrive in your inbox at 2 in the morning, which is not very likely from a bank etc. Then these people just expect the banks to pay back the money they have given away. Probably 90% of these could be avoided if people would just engage their brains first.

    • Strangely enough Steve, on this subject I agree with you. That said it’s easy to be deceived and the school isn’t closed, it’s just not term time.
      You refer to the 1950s as safe, well we didn’t lock our doors and watched for our neighbours but times have
      Changed and I was in Yorkshire, those were not perfect times either.

      • Yeah, probably because after WW2 there wasn’t much to nick-the elderly especially seem to be so trusting despite the constant warnings & reports of this stuff happening.

        It is easy to be deceived if you don’t stop & think for a minute, all these vermin are is like high pressure salesmen-they will say anything to convince you to part with your cash, throwing out incentives, offering you special deals etc to hurry you into a decision without thinking. There are indeed some highly sophisticated scams out there-but they are a minority, the majority are just chancers using the usual tactics.

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