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21 May 2024

Watch out for this fee payment scam currently targeting students!

We have received reports that Deakin University students are being targeted by a fee payment scam. These scams are designed to take your money in a dishonest way, leaving your university fees unpaid. 

The scammers will call, email, message or otherwise contact you, claiming to be associated with a financial institution. They will offer to give you a discount if you pay your student tuition fees through them, rather than paying the university directly.

The scammer may even appear to pay an amount towards your tuition to make the offer appear more genuine, but if you give them your money, they will reverse this initial payment, taking your money and leaving your university fees unpaid.

You should never pay your fees to a third party or agent. Only ever pay your fees through the valid payment options listen on your invoice.

Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.

Things to look out for

Where you can get help

There are no consequences for reporting a potential scam – it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Other scams to watch out for

Please also keep an eye out for these common scams going around at the moment.


‘Phishing’ is when a scammer sends fraudulent emails or texts pretending to be from organisations you know or trust to steal your personal information, money or even your identity. Before responding or acting, you should always be careful and confirm that an email has actually been sent by who it says it’s from. 

Recent trends show that these phishing emails are becoming more targeted and more difficult to differentiate from the real thing. 

If you receive a phishing or suspicious email, you can easily report it by using the phishing reporting tool in Outlook called Phish Alert or forwarding the email to [email protected].

Please be aware that you should only ever use a payment method listed on your invoice to pay your fees.

Fake social media groups

We’ve been alerted that there are a number of social media groups and pages that may be falsely presenting themselves as though they were officially supported by Deakin. Some of these groups may be trying to promote non-Deakin events or even contract cheating, so remain vigilant.

You can find the official social media channels of Deakin listed on our Stay Connected webpage. If you are invited to or come across a page or group not included here, then be wary. 

Contract cheating scams

You may come across or be contacted by services offering to complete your assessments for you in exchange for money or for uploading your previous assessments.

Not only is taking up their offer of these services a breach of academic integrity and can put your studies at risk, but you may open yourself up to the threat of blackmail.

Authority scams targeting Chinese international students

The Victoria Police Financial Crimes Squad has put out a warning that international students, especially those from China, have been the target of scammers impersonating Chinese officials, police officers or courier services.

The scammers claim that your phone or identity have been used in a crime and will threaten legal consequences unless you make a payment to them. 

They can use elaborate methods including calls from multiple people, video calls and appearing to be calling from an official phone number to seem more convincing.

Some resources on scams

Keep reporting those suspicious emails and continue to stay vigilant for scams! For more information on spotting a scam, visit the cyber security blog.  

Stay up to date with the latest known online scams by bookmarking and regularly visiting Deakin’s Online safety and security webpage. You can also find more information about common scams targeting students via Study Melbourne’s website. You can also follow @scamwatch_gov on Twitter and subscribe to Scamwatch radar alerts.

The ACCC’s Little Black Book of Scams is also a handy tool for recognising scams – it is available in various languages including Simplified Chinese on the ACCC website.

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