Recent Hoax Calls to Educational Settings

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The DFE has recently received a small number of reports about someone calling education settings claiming to be from the DfE’s “Prevent and Counter Extremism Team”. I am reaching out to inform you that this is not a legitimate or official request from Department for Education.

As I understand it, the unknown caller claims to have received concerns via a whistleblower about the education setting and asks to be put into contact with the CEO or Chairperson of the setting(s). I understand that the caller provides a phone number and requests contact details.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to highlight a few things for your information:

 

  • The DFE will never arrange a meeting or request information from you only over the phone. They will always confirm any request with you via email, and all email communication from government officials and policing colleagues will come from official email addresses ending in (e.g @education.gov.uk/ @police.uk/ @pnn.police.com).

 

  • If you receive any contact from an individual claiming to be associated to the DfE’s Counter-Extremism or Prevent Team requesting information, please:
    • Ask for confirmation of the request to come in an official email. Please do check that the email is a education.gov.uk address.
    • If in any doubt, you can confirm it is legitimate by contacting the DfE’s Counter-Extremism Team – you can do this by emailing counter.EXTREMISM@education.gov.uk

 

  • If an individual arrives at your setting claiming to be from the DfE or from the Counter-Extremism or Prevent Team, when you have not had contact via an official email, you can call the DfE Helpline for confirmation (0370 000 2288).

 

  • Suspicious encounters should also be reported to your local police force to make them aware of the incident.

 

The DFE is working with partners to investigate the recent reports and if I have further information on the matter, I will share this with you as soon as I can.

 

There is guidance available on how to recognise and report emails, texts or phone call that you are suspicious of - Phishing: Spot and report scam emails, texts, websites and... - NCSC.GOV.UK

 

If you have any queries or concerns about any of the above, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

 

 


Information

Published: 17/07/2023
Audience: Head Teachers, DSLs
Contact: Assia Hussain

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