Parents With Kids In High School Warned After New Trick By Scammers

High School students report to school accompanied by their parents in January 2018.
High School students report to school accompanied by their parents in January 2018.

Parents and guardians of High School students have been warned of a new trick used by scammers to fleece them.

Speaking to the media, Keiyo South Directorate of Criminal Investigation Officer (DCIO), Samuel Otieno, stated that the scammers have been going rounds in schools stealing books with important data that they later use to scam the unsuspecting parents.

Otieno noted that the vice had gained ground in various schools, with a section of parents falling victims to the perpetrators. 

He added that the fraudsters use various schemes such as posing as concerned parents in order to gain access to the school's compound. Some of the reasons they gave include paying fees, and attending parent's meetings and school gatherings. 

An undated image of Kenyan students protesting hiked school fees.
Kenyan students protesting hiked school fees in August 2017.

"We are grappling with an upsurge of cyber-related crime and we have witnessed an increase in the number of schools reporting visitors book thefts," Otieno stated. 

"Some fraudsters have even been attending parents' meetings and other school gatherings with the aim of getting their details."

The incidents have occurred in various high schools located in Elgeyo Marakwet county including Kapkenda High school, Alphonsus Girls Mutei, Lelboinet and Kimwarer.

In the case of Kapkenda High School, a man posing as a parent seeking an audience with the school's bursar ended up stealing the visitor's book at the gate. 

The school's principal, Joyce Mulunda, pointed out that the scammer went to the gate a few minutes after being directed to the bursar's office claiming that he was preoccupied at the moment. 

"The man waited at the gate for almost an hour and when the security officer excused herself, he pounced on the visitor's book and vanished," she stated.

Within minutes after conducting the vice, the perpetrator sent messages to over 100 parents asking for money ranging from Ksh1,000 and Ksh5,000 to cater to their child's needs. 

"Send money, you are a parent to a Form One, the students are outside waiting to be sent home, send the money," read one of the SMS sent to a parent. 

The principal urged parents to countercheck any perceived information with the school before parting with any funds. 

"We are urging parents to be wary of strange numbers asking for money on behalf of the school. Countercheck any information with the school, especially class teachers," she noted.

File image of a phone user perusing a gadget.
File image of a phone user perusing a gadget.
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