Education officials are warning parents to be on their guard after a phone cash scam was rumbled.
The alert has come from East Sussex County Council, the education authority in the county.
It comes after a parent at a school was telephoned from someone purporting to be from the Education Welfare Service saying their child had not attended school that day and as a result they had to pay a fine of £340.
The parent was asked to provide credit or credit card details so a payment could be made over the phone.
The authorities have warned that the service does not phone parents demanding payment immediately over the phone and invoices and penalty notices are sent via the post by the Education Welfare Service. Parents are then given the option to pay be phone.
Although payments can be acxcepted over the phone, at no time would the education Welfare Service phone a parent demanding payment over the phone there and then.
The county council is now urging any parents who might receive one of the scam calls to inform schools immediately.
Nathan Caine, head of East Sussex County Council’s education support, behaviour and attendance service, said, “Having been informed of a scam call received by a parent, we wanted to make parents in East Sussex aware of it in case of similar calls here.
“Parents need to be aware that under no circumstances would we call them demanding immediate payment of fines over the phone.
“Although recipients of invoices and penalty notices are given the option to pay by phone, we would always send these by post in the first instance.
“It’s very important that any parent who receives a call like this should not give any details to the caller and should inform their school immediately.”