Cyber-scam targets prospective students at Newcastle University, asking them to pay for their courses through a scam website. The site also asks for personal information, putting them at risk of identity theft.
Newcastle University has issued a warning to its prospective students, as a new cyber-scam has been found fraudulently asking students to pay for their courses through a scam website.
The fake website reportedly uses images of buildings at Newcastle University’s campus and asks for payments from students to a non-existent “Newcastle International University.”
The university issued a tweet warning its students that the website is “in no way associated with the university.” It advised that students avoid the site at all costs. The site was described by several to be “unusually realistic.”
According to recent investigations, the website has been active since the 7th of July and has been updated several times since it was first discovered.
The university issued a statement, saying that it has reported the scam site to companies which could help the situation. “The University is working with the National Cyber Crime police team and the case has been registered with the cyber-security team in the National Crime Agency.”
“We proactively announced on social media that this is a fraudulent website and have responded to some student enquiries and will continue to do so. We would urge any students not to access this site and go to our official site: www.ncl.ac.uk or call the university’s general number if they have any queries.”
Comments On the Scam
RSA Security’s cyber-defence director, Azeem Aleem, commented on this, saying: “Make no mistake, this is an effective scam.
“They’ve put in the time and effort to create a remarkably realistic website, and it highlights the very real danger of modern spoofing attacks.”
He also said that this scam has carefully targeted international students “who may not have the local knowledge to spot the difference between this site and Newcastle University’s official site”.
According to Kirsten Edmondson, the university’s digital director, administrators became aware of the website when one international student asked a question about it on Twitter. She also emphasizes her worry about the fact that the website asked students for their credit card information and passport numbers.
She said: “We would never ask for these details as part of an application.” She added that giving this information could leave students at a huge risk of identity theft, losing large sums of money, and not getting any education.