Be on guard against fee payment scams: here’s what to look out for
We have recently received reports of students, particularly international students, being the victim of a fee payment scam in which they have paid their fees to a third party or agent, rather than directly to Deakin.
These scams are designed to take your money in a dishonest way, leaving your university fees unpaid.
All valid payment options are displayed on your official student invoice, so make sure you only ever use these methods to pay your fees.
Things to look out for:
- If anyone offers you a discount or an extension on your university fees by email or phone, delete it or hang up. Deakin will never contact you about a discount in this way.
- If a friend recommends a fee payment scheme that offers you a discount or extension, don’t accept.
- Never share your Deakin student ID, StudentConnect username and password, credit card or bank account information with anyone.
- If you receive a phone call or email asking you to deposit money into a local bank account, ignore it.
- Don’t use a third party to pay your fees on your behalf.
If you think you may have fallen for this kind of scam, please contact Student Central for advice.
Online scams are very common
Please be wary of any unsolicited or unexpected communications you receive and think before you click in emails – these scams can be sophisticated and look legitimate.
- If you receive a University-related email you’re unsure about – whether it’s from someone you don’t know, the details appear incorrect or the email address looks odd – do not click on any links or attachments. Immediately report the email to Deakin’s cybersecurity team via the ‘Phish Alert’ button in your Outlook window or forward the email to [email protected].
- Never give your bank details or money to people you don’t know or for reasons you’re unclear about. This includes your personal, credit card or online account details. If you think your accounts have been accessed illegally, contact your financial institution immediately for advice.
- Be aware of the messages you receive via email, text and social media. If you get junk or spam emails or messages, simply ignore and delete them.
- Look out for requests for payment in unusual methods such as bitcoin or gift cards – this is a common indicator of dodgy activity.
- Don’t respond straight away, especially if you’re feeling panicked. Always stop to think about a request before you open an email, click or download a link, provide personal information or give money.
- Report scams at scamwatch.gov.au, follow @scamwatch_gov on Twitter and subscribe to Scamwatch radar alerts.
- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Little black book of scams is an essential tool for recognising scams (it’s available in various languages, including Simplified Chinese).
- Download the Scams Awareness Toolkit to learn more about how to identify fraudulent behaviour and scams.