Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Show a Degree of Suspicion about It; Warning at 'University' Website Taking Payments

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Show a Degree of Suspicion about It; Warning at 'University' Website Taking Payments

Article excerpt

Byline: SOPHIE DOUGHTY Crime Reporter sophie.doughty@ncjmedia.co.uk @Sophie_Doughty

NEWCASTLE University's name and logo may have been hijacked by a scam website.

The university has issued a warning after becoming aware the apparent fraudsters were using its brand and encouraging students to enter their credit card details to pay for online courses.

The website claims to belong to 'Newcastle International University' which says it offers 'pioneering new approaches' to education with '100% online' study programs, allowing students to get a Newcastle University degree from the comfort of their own home.

It features everything a prospective student might expect from a university website, including details of courses, professors, admissions information and advice on financial aid.

And a version of Newcastle University's red and blue crest of the cross of St Cuthbert and the Percy Lion appears in the corner.

However, the university has tweeted a warning to students, stating the site had nothing to do with them, and advised people to steer clear.

It said: "We have been made aware of an unofficial website that is fraudulently using the Newcastle University brand and accepting credit card payments to apply for courses. The website 'Newcastle International University' is in no way associated with the university and we are advising anyone who finds the website not to submit any personal details. All students should use our official website www.ncl.ac.uk."

Security experts said the website appears to be a sophisticated scam Azeem Aleem, director of advanced cyber defence practice EMEA at security company RSA, said: "Make no mistake, this is an effective scam. They've put in the time and effort to create a remarkably realistic website. …

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