What is the tuition scam?

Scammers reach out to students promising a discount on their tuition.

How does the scam work?

  • Scammers reach out to students, via popular apps such as WeChat or WhatsApp, text message, or even in person, offering a discount on their tuition.
  • The scammers ask for the student’s login credentials and pay the student’s tuition with a stolen credit card. Alternatively, they may give you the stolen card information so you can pay the tuition fees on your account yourself.
  • Once the student sees that the tuition has been paid on their school account, they pay the discounted tuition amount to the scammer.
  • Later, the bank identifies the fraudulent tuition payment and initiates a chargeback. The fraudulent payment is reversed and tuition is unpaid on the student’s account.
  • The student has given the scammer money for their tuition but still owes the full tuition amount to their school.

What does the scammer get?

They leave with the discounted tuition amount that the student pays them, having never paid any tuition fees for the student.


What does the student lose?

The student has paid the scammer the discounted tuition amount but has not paid their tuition. They must now pay the school for the full tuition amount.

Who is affected by the scam?

While any student could get scammed, scammers tend to target international students. All students should be aware of how the scam works and learn how to avoid it.

How can the scam be avoided?

Know the signs

  • Understand how the scam works so you know what to look out for.
  • Be wary of unexpected messages, emails, or calls offering discounts.
  • Be wary of high-pressure tactics, including time-sensitive offers, threats and intimidation.

Keep your accounts secure

  • Never share your login credentials or personal identification information with anyone. If you share your login credentials with a third party, you are responsible for the actions taken by that third party, including all financial impacts and violations of the student code of conduct.
  • Don’t pay your tuition through a third party; pay the college directly using one of the college-approved payment methods.
  • Independently verify contact information; if someone calls you, don’t be afraid to look their number up yourself and call them back to ensure you are speaking to a legitimate organization.

Beware suspicious activity

  • Contact us directly about any offers or communications you are unsure about.
  • Do not engage with any unexpected or unsolicited calls or anyone you suspect might be a scammer since this may allow them to draw you deeper into the scam.
  • Block any scammers that try to contact you.
  • Report any suspicious activity.

What to do if you suspect you’ve been scammed

If you think you’ve been scammed, contact us immediately. If you suspect there’s been fraudulent payment activity on your account, contact the Office of the Registrar by calling 519-452-4277. Contact Campus Security Services by calling 519-452-4400 or attend the Security Control Centre, room D1027. You can also report scams to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or by telephone at 1-888-495-8501.