SCHOOLS across Peeblesshire are being warned to be on alert after a spate of nationwide scams.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has seen an increase in recent weeks in the volume of fraud reports where schools are the targeted victim. The scam has resulted in substantial financial losses for several schools.

The fraudster, posing as the headteacher, contacts a member of staff with responsibility for authorising financial transfers and requests for a one off, often urgent, bank transfer to be made. The amounts requested have been between £8,000 and £10,000.

Contact is made by email and from a spoofed or similar email address to the one the head teacher or principal would use. Schools across the area are being urged to ensure they have robust processes in place to verify and corroborate all requests to change any supplier or payment details.

Advice from Action Fraud states: “If unsure, staff should get in touch with the supplier (or internal colleague) directly, using contact details they know to be correct, to confirm that a request that has been received is legitimate.

“Employees are encouraged to challenge requests they think may be suspicious, particularly urgent sounding requests from senior members of staff.”

Anyone affected by this, or any other type of fraud, should report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040, or visiting