Parents of children schooled privately are urged to be aware of a scam in which they are asked to pay fees which are intercepted by fraudsters.

The scam has been brought to the attention of Dorset Police this week.

The scam begins with criminals emailing parents with payment instructions for due school fees.

The emails are sent from the school’s own compromised email system, although police say there have been instances of a similar address being used.

Once the victim has transferred funds, the money is moved on before the fraud is detected.

In several cases, there has been evidence of social engineering at play within the email, with the criminal suggesting a discount if parents pay early.

There have been no reported cases in Dorset to date, but parents are still urged to be cautious.