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Scam website targets those wanting to study at fake Ipswich university

PUBLISHED: 09:32 29 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:44 29 October 2019

A photograph of the University of Suffolk on the Waterfront has been used on a fake website which has been online since April 2019,  advertising for students to come to Ipswich Picture: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDS

A photograph of the University of Suffolk on the Waterfront has been used on a fake website which has been online since April 2019, advertising for students to come to Ipswich Picture: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDS

Archant

A website advertising a fake university in Queen Street has been shut down after it attempted to scam thousands of pounds from overseas students looking to obtain a degree in Suffolk.

A fake website for a university in Ipswich has mentioned Suffolk's links to Ed Sheeran and Harry Potter Picture in an attempt to attract students: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDSA fake website for a university in Ipswich has mentioned Suffolk's links to Ed Sheeran and Harry Potter Picture in an attempt to attract students: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDS

Suffolk Trading Standards have confirmed that they were made aware of the website, which went live in April this year, by the Department of Education. Immediate action was taken to shut down the website which claimed the 'College of Suffolk' was founded in 1990.

In their Facebook post Suffolk Trading Standards said: " Websites like this can be used to attract students, collect personal information and course fees. They can also be used to sell fake degrees certificates."

Suffolk Trading Standards say at this stage they have received no complaints about the website - but believe that anyone affected overseas may have made complaints to their local law enforcement authorities.

The website, which featured a misleading photograph of the University of Suffolk, on its homepage attempted to attract performing arts students by mentioning Suffolk's links to Ed Sheeran and Harry Potter.

Yearly fees stated ranged from £3,500 to £8,900 with courses offered including: Musical Theatre, Film and TV Production and Special Effects Make up Artistry.

The website even has a section written by their 'President' which says: " Come and learn with us. You will find a dynamic learning institution with state-of-the-art facilities, student accommodation and a fully equipped gym, fully serviced by a excellent public transport links."

The University of Suffolk and Suffolk Trading Standards have issued advice for students following the website scam targeting international students Picture: ARCHANTThe University of Suffolk and Suffolk Trading Standards have issued advice for students following the website scam targeting international students Picture: ARCHANT

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Responding to the news of the scam, Polly Bridgman, Director of External Relations at the University of Suffolk said: "We are pleased with the decisive action of Trading Standards.

"The website had the potential to defraud applicants to university, particularly those from overseas who are perhaps less familiar with the university application process.

"For anyone interested in applying to university, our advice is to follow links on the UCAS website and further information about the University of Suffolk can be found at www.uos.ac.uk."

Trading Standards urge anyone with concerns about a website to contact them on - 03454 040506.

You can find out more about the work of Suffolk Trading Standards by visiting their Facebook page - here.



The fake website offered yearly fees ranging from £3,500 to £8,900 Picture: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDSThe fake website offered yearly fees ranging from £3,500 to £8,900 Picture: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDS

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