Scams & Fraud

Spotting Scams

Scams target people of all ages, nationalities, and income levels, but there are a few that specifically target students.

ScamWatch is an Australian initiative helping to identify scams, and gives you the details for reporting scams.

Flatmate Scams

You're looking for a flatmate

If you’re looking for a flatmate, be very careful before you give out personal details, or cash.

One scam involves someone who says they want to rent a room you have available. They’ll send you a cheque for a larger amount than you have requested, and ask that you send back the difference. Unfortunately, the cheque is usually a forgery.

You're looking for a place to rent

Scammers may request money or personal details upfront, and will make excuses for you not being able to inspect the property beforehand.

To avoid getting scammed:

  • Don’t pay money for rent or bond before you know that you’re on the lease or bond agreement.
  • Never provide your bank details to someone you don’t know.
  • Be suspicious of someone who wants your current address, a copy of your passport, or your date of birth.

Essay Scams

There are many websites that offer to write your essays for a fee. Submitting work that is not your own is a serious academic offence, and could lead you to losing your place at the University. The simple way to avoid this scam is to write your own essays! You’ll learn more that way.

Find out more about Plagiarism in the Acknowledgement Practice/Plagiarism policy »

Migration Fraud

International students are particular targets of scams that claim to offer migration documents or services for a fee. Always go through official Australian Government channels when it comes to your student visa, or applications for residency. The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship is a good place to start.

Last reviewed: 19 January, 2010

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