An online scam targeting Newcastle uni has tricked students into handing over thousands of pounds

A fake website is offering up degrees at the uni

A fake website has been created to fool students into spending thousands of pounds on what they think is a Newcastle University degree.

The website, which experts say is shockingly realistic for a scam of this kind, advertises an institution named ‘Newcastle International University’ and uses images of not only¬† the Newcastle University campus buildings, but also an edited version of the university logo.

There are a few signs that the website is not legitimate, such as the use of ‘Lorem Ipsum’ a section of latin text used to temporarily cover space in websites or text boxes yet to be filled with information.

However, in general the website looks realistic, with a lot of ‘time and effort’ put in to improve the efficacy of the scam.

The website requests personal and financial details as well as passport numbers for students to apply, and even since its discovery in July new features have been added.

Officials are concerned that international students without local knowledge may be fooled by the professional-looking website and seemingly legitimate course information.

Spokespeople for Newcastle University and for Universities UK advised prospective students to not only use the official website for enquiries, but also to check lists for official university site names before giving over any personal details.

The site has been reported to the police and to an organisation concerned with maintaining internet standards.

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