The Mpumalanga police have warned parents against a scam that involves false bursary promises.
The scam has been reported at five schools in Moutse in Limpopo and Mdutjane in Mpumalanga.
The schools have been identified as Mmametlhake High, Matata Primary, Tlhakanang High, Matlhakudishe High and Mashung Primary.
Captain Leonard Hlathi said: "It is now rumoured that the conmen have moved to areas such as Witbank."
Hlathi said unknown con artists visit schools and distribute forms to pupils in which pupils are asked to fill in particulars about their parents, including phone numbers.
"Later these people contact the parents and tell them their children have won free bursaries," Hlathi said.
In most cases parents when parents check with their children and find that they had indeed applied for a bursary, the excited parents accept the offer.
Hlathi said the people offering the bursaries then tell parents to first deposit R250 into a certain bank account for their children to qualify.
They also give parents a limited time period within which to deposit the money.
He said that some parents are very pleased with the offer because it means that they will no longer have to pay school fees or buy books for their children.
"In fact, the tricksters assure them that the bursary will last until their children have completed their schooling," Hlathi said.
He urged parents who had fallen for the scam and paid money into a bank account to open cases at their local police stations.
He said: "It is unfortunate that we do not know how many parents who have already made payments into the account or how much money is involved.
"We will only be able to give figures after people have filed complaints with the police.
"Parents are urged not to respond to such calls because it's a scam."