Police have made us aware of a scam occurring locally. Young people who have PayPal account details on their phones are being pressured to transfer money, purchase fake goods or forward their parents’ PayPal account details to another account.

Even when victims believe something is wrong, the perpetrators often convince them that this is a ‘victimless’ crime. The perpetrators explain, falsely, that all PayPal transactions can be recalled, or can be claimed back from PayPal or not traced.

Under-18s cannot legally open PayPal accounts and the advice is not to allow children access to an adult’s account without their direct supervision.

If your PayPal account details are on your child’s phone, further advice is log in to your PayPal account and check your recent activity. If you see any unauthorised transactions, go online to the PayPal Resolution Centre to report it. After removing your PayPal details from your child’s phone, change your password. If you are concerned that your child has been the victim of a crime, you should call 101 to report it and seek further advice.

Matt Allman, Headteacher, said: “Clearly, we are flagging this up as there is a genuine problem here and young people in Lichfield are being put at risk by unscrupulous ‘friends’ and by parents who are not up-to-speed with what their child is doing online. We would encourage all parents to avoid giving under-18s direct links into PayPal and to talk to their children about this scam and the more general issues surrounding online behaviour.”