#1242898: Crooks Use Email to Scam St Lawrence College Parents Out of Tuition

Description: Some parents of students attending St Lawrence College in Ramsgate were scammed by crooks into sending an undisclosed amount of money during the Christmas holidays.

According to the school, the parents received emails offering fee discounts for the spring and summer terms if they would agree to send the money in advance.

Only two families were persuaded to send the money

The swindlers used a common email scam attack, promising their victims some quick gains if they would take advantage of the discounts.

The scheme worked, although only two of the contacted parents fell for the fraudulent proposals and actually sent money into bank accounts controlled by the scammers.

Moreover, the event took place on December 27, and both school officials and the law enforcement responsible for investigating these type of fraudulent activities were notified during the next day.

On 28th December 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.

Furthermore, the two families who were involved and fell victims to this scam attempt have contacted their banks to recover the money sent following the attack.

Extra security measures implemented to protect from future attacks

As reported by KentOnline, St Lawrence College's "Boarding students pay between £8,895 and £11,945 per term depending on their age, while day students pay between £2,565 and £5,333 each term."

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

Even though the number of victims was low, this attack shows that email scam attempts can still be successful in finding victims if they are directed at a large enough pool of targets.

BleepingComputer contacted St Lawrence College before publishing this article, and we will update it as soon as we receive more details regarding the attack.
More info: https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/crooks-use-email-to-scam-st-lawrence-college-parents-out-of-tuition/

Date added Jan. 10, 2019, 4:04 a.m.
Source Bleeping Computer
Subjects
  • Info for Parents - Kids and Computers
  • Latest Global Security News
  • News USA
  • Scam/Fraud/Hoax/Grafts News
Country USA