With holidays done, thieves will turn their traps on parents taking children back to school and University students to scam or steal them off of school fees and tuition.
On Wednesday 7th September, Bukedde reported a case of a woman who was carrying shillings two million worth of school fees only to be stolen by pickpocketers.
She was left frustrated with an empty bag. This is one of the many stories where crooks take advantage of back-to-school periods and take away parents’ hard-earned money. Many University students have also reported several cases from being conned on the way to the bank to being snatched off all their tuition.
These hideous acts can be avoided. There are many ways to avert it and it can be through digital partition means and/or being more vigilant during the process.
Below, we discuss some of the safe ways to pay your child’s school fees
Instead of walking to and fro the ban attached to your child’s school fees payment account, you can do this in the comfort of your home. This will protect you from the bandits. If you try out mobile banking, you will be intrigued at just how much you can do; make payments for school fees, taxes, water, electricity, PayTV bills, check account balances, make transfers from mobile money to your account and borrow for your needs using your mobile phone wherever you are 24 hours a day. All you need is to register for mobile banking from your bank and you will enjoy a safe way of sending and withdrawing money straight from your bank account.
- Mobile money transfer
If you have money saved on your mobile wallet, for example, Airtel or MTN money wallets for the case of Uganda, you don’t need to withdraw and take it to a school to pay school fees. Many schools have now added mobile money to their payment system. *To pay school fees using MTN MoMo, simply dial *165*80# or use the MyMTN app. Enter the student number provided by the school. It will show you the student’s name and class plus the outstanding balance. *
Airtel has 3 options across which you can pay for school fees for your child; Bridge Schools, School pay and Flexi pay. So, all you need is to know which package works for your child’s school.
- Standing orders You can also sign a document authorizing your bank to deduct the school fees directly from your account at an agreed date for a specific period of time.
- Sending direct from the bank can offer a more safe way than taking the money physically to the school. However, it is tiresome with long queues and can also offer an opportune moment for scammers.
Away from the digital preventive methods, parents, and guardians need to be sharp-eyed in order to quickly identify suspicious behaviours.
- Avoid carrying money in obvious bags like handbags and backpacks as these are major targets for pickpocketers in Kampala
- Don’t overtrust people in regards to your money
- Don’t have a routine for your school fees paydays