International Student Scams

International students attempting to attend Colleges in the United States and Canada are often targeted by scammers who use fake letters of acceptance to lure them into paying large sums of money for fraudulent programs or services. These scams can take various forms, but they generally involve promises of admission to a prestigious colleges in exchange for a hefty application fee or tuition payment. In some cases illegitimate storefront colleges have been set up with a poor educational experience to capture international student funds.

Oversight needed to prevent exploitation of international students

These scams are run from destination countries (e.g. Canada, US) as well as origin countries such as India. In some cases, scammers create fake websites that look like official school websites and trick students into believing they are applying to a legitimate program. The scammers may also use fake email addresses and phone numbers to communicate with their victims, making it difficult for students to verify the authenticity of the offer.

Once a student has paid the requested fees, they may receive a fake letter of acceptance or be asked to send additional payments for things like visa processing or accommodation. Unfortunately, by the time the student realizes they have been scammed, the scammers have disappeared with their money, leaving the student in a difficult and often financially devastating situation.

To protect themselves from these scams, international students should thoroughly research any school or program they are considering attending and verify the legitimacy of any offers they receive. They should also be wary of any request for payment before they have completed a thorough application process and received an official acceptance letter from the school.

Furthermore, students should be cautious about providing personal information, such as their passport or bank details, to unknown individuals or organizations. If they suspect they have been targeted by a scam, they should report it to the relevant authorities, such as the US or Canadian border agencies or the Federal Trade Commission.

  1. The University Ranking Organization finds an international student population greater than 30 at any college suspicious. The question would be “Why are local students not attending the Institution?”
  2. Be careful with agencies recommending an institution not appearing on any ranking lists. Do your research, talk directly with reputable institutions!

Also see College Scams.