A scam known as the tuition scam is currently affecting students at Fanshawe College and across the country. Ensure you know how to identify this scam and protect yourself with these tips for avoiding the tuition scam.
But First: What does tuition fraud mean?
Tuition fraud occurs when someone falsely represents themselves as educational institutions, scholarship providers or some other authority to exploit students.
For example, the scammer reels you in with an enticing offer. Let’s say your tuition is $10,000 and the scammer offers you a tuition discount of 20%. The scammer pays the full $10,000 into your college account with a stolen credit card. Once you’re satisfied that your tuition is paid, you send the scammer $8,000 (your tuition minus the discount). The bank then revokes the charge on the stolen credit card, leaving your tuition unpaid on your college account and the scammer is long gone. This means you’ve paid the scammer $8,000 and still owe your full tuition of $10,000.
Who runs this scam?
There have been reports of people being contacted online via applications like WhatsApp or WeChat, over text or the phone, and in person. Some people have even been targeted by fellow students whom they trusted.
Who gets scammed?
Understand that anyone can get scammed. Different people are vulnerable to different scams at different times in their lives. This scam can affect domestic students, but typically targets international students, specifically those from India.
Tips to protect you from tuition fraud
Pay Your Tuition Directly
- Always pay your tuition directly to the college and do not involve any third parties
- Choose and follow one of Fanshawe’s domestic tuition payment options or international tuition payment options
- Beware of offers of tuition discounts–we don’t offer tuition discounts
Be Wary and Savvy
- If something sounds too good to be true, then it’s not true
- Understand how the scam works so you can recognize the signs
- Contact us directly about anything you’re unsure of
Don’t share personal information
- Don’t give out your login information for your college accounts
- Don’t share any bank account information
- Don’t engage with scammers and block them through any communications portals, like phone, WhatsApp or other applications
Report Suspicious Activity
If you think you’ve been scammed, you can contact the services above. We’re also here for you if you need support through a difficult time.