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Cifas warns schools of High Court writ scam

7 December 2020
  • New scam targeting schools demanding the immediate payment of thousands of pounds
  • Cifas advising schools to ensure staff are trained to handle such requests

Cifas is warning schools to be wary of requests for payments received from unknown callers following reports of fraudsters contacting head teachers claiming a High Court Writ has been issued against them.

Targets of this scam claim that after requests for a payment of up to £3,000 were refused, the fraudsters then apply additional pressure by claiming enforcement officers would be sent to the school.

Cifas is reminding schools to ensure that staff are appropriately trained to handle such situations, and that any schools approached with this scam should ask for the information to be emailed as well as a phone number to contact them back on. Staff should not engage in further conversation.

Criminals will often look to take advantage of complex situations and will use pressure tactics to encourage victims to part with either their information or their money. Cifas research shows that fraud is increasing on a yearly basis, with 2019 seeing the highest number of cases of fraudulent conduct ever filed to the National Fraud Database. More recently, 9 in 10 fraud professionals at the Cifas Annual Conference said they believed that cases of fraudulent activity would rise even further in 2020 and 2021.

Cifas is reminding anyone who is approached out of the blue by someone asking for financial or personal information to:

Stop – take a minute and think about parting with your money or information;

Challenge – could it be fake? You can reject, refuse or ignore any requests you receive and only criminals would try to rush or panic you;

Protect – if you think you’ve fallen for a scam, contact your bank immediately and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Cifas regularly update our website with a list of the newest scams targeting businesses and consumers in the UK, including common scams spreading across social media/

Together with PSHE Association, the national body for Personal, Social, Health and Economic education, Cifas has created four Anti-Fraud Education lesson plans with accompanying resources. The lesson plans are targeted at 11-16 year olds and cover Key Stage 3 and 4. Click here for more information.

The full data from the Cifas National Fraud Database is available on our Fraudscape website.

For more advice on preventing fraud visit the Take Five website.

About Cifas

Cifas is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation that protects businesses and individuals through effective and secure data and intelligence sharing between the private, public and third sectors. In 2019, Cifas member organisations prevented over £1.5 billion of fraud losses.

Cifas data is included in the Office of National Statistics England and Wales Crime Statistics of police recorded crime and works alongside law enforcement agencies in tackling fraud.

For more information contact:
Matt Pearson
Press & Public Relations Manager, Cifas
T: +44 (0)20 3004 3644
E: matthew.pearson@cifas.org.uk

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Posted by: Cifas Press Team
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Posted by: Cifas Press Team

Contact us at press@cifas.org.uk

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