Scary Student Scams to Look Out For

There are so many student scams out there. Scammers are after your personal information, or your money, or I don’t even know what! This list is not exhaustive – there are other scams, so stay aware!

University Student Tutoring Scams

It can be really hard to find a tutor! And then some of them will scam you. There are two types of tutoring student scams that I’m aware of.

First, look out for tutors who will do the work for you. Tutors should help you improve your own knowledge and skills. They should not be doing the work for you. Don’t buy your papers. Don’t hire someone to do exams or assignments for you. The consequences of these things can be disastrous if your university finds out. It can range from a dishonesty mark on your transcript, to being expelled or forced to take time off. You can check your university’s conduct policy for more information, but make sure you also do all your own work! 

There are also tutors who will blackmail you. I can barely believe this one, but it happens! These tutors will do your assignments for you, or write your paper for you (again, don’t hire people to do this!). But then they will extort you for more money – if you don’t continue to pay them, they say they will go to your professor or university with evidence that you cheated by hiring someone else to do the work for you. 

University Admissions Scams

I can’t even imagine how devastating it would be to discover that your admissions offer wasn’t real. To think you’d be starting at your dream university and then find out it wasn’t true! These student scams are related to fake offers of admission and collecting fake confirmation deposits from students.

Always make sure you’re communicating directly with the university. You should have some kind of online application log-in where you can check your status. If you’ve received an offer via WhatsApp or another online messaging system, you should follow up directly with the university to confirm that it’s true. 

You also want to make sure that any payments you make are going to the university. If you are asked to pay by any method other than through the university’s website, you should make sure it’s legitimate! 

Student Loan Scams

Again, confirm that any messages you receive about your student loans are coming from wherever you borrowed from. Student loan systems vary by province, so you just need to work with your home province on this. But if you receive emails, voicemails, or texts about your loans, double-check the email address/phone number before you click through or panic about them. 

Scholarship Scams

As with everything else, check that the organization you’re communicating with is legitimate. Do they have a website with all the scholarship information on it? Or are you just sending all your personal information to some random email address? 

Apartment Rental Scams

These are abundant! They are trying to get a deposit or portion of your rent, but there isn’t usually an actual apartment for you. If your university has a housing website for off-campus housing, you can use that as a resource to help avoid these scams. Otherwise, keep an eye out for suspicious signs: The price is too good to be true (rent is lower than average) or the landlord has a story about how they are not in town and you have to wire the money. They will often target those who are out-of-town, because you won’t do a tour of the apartment ahead of time. 

Things to look out for

  • .ca shows canadian org (most unis will use this)
  • Institutional email: @universtiy.ca (give some examples)
  • Payment through secure website (not sent on Whatsapp or email transfer)
  • Confirm information through registrar’s office or institutional email

The Government of Canada actually has a pretty comprehensive scam and fraud website, probably because so many scams pretend to be the CRA or CBSA.

If you liked this post, you will probably find these helpful: Getting a Bad Grade and University Student Study Skills.

I hope this post has helped you know what to keep an eye out for to avoid being scammed. If you know of any other student scams that I’ve missed here, please send them to me at email@chooseyouruni.ca.

16 thoughts on “Scary Student Scams to Look Out For

  1. I’ve heard of apartment rental scams but never dreamed of the other kinds! It’s so sad to know that there are people out there who scam students. Great advice for students to look out for to avoid scammers.

  2. It’s amazing how creative fraudsters can be in getting money out of people. The best way to protect yourself is to be educated about the way they operate and your post does that well. Thank you for sharing this, which invites us all to be vigilant even for people who are not students because these frauds happen everywhere.

  3. It’s amazing how creative fraudsters can be in getting money out of people. The best way to protect yourself is to be educated about how they operate and your post does that well. Thank you for sharing this, which invites us all to be vigilant even for people who are not students because these frauds happen everywhere.

    1. Thank you. I want more people to know about the fake tutors who blackmail – this seems to be less well-known and it’s a terrible thing to happen to a student. And yes, just knowing more about what might be a scam is useful! Whether it’s for students or for anyone else. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Isn’t it sad that there are so many scams floating about and that students need to be made aware of where they may be lurking?! Thank you for sharing this important and useful information — much needed!

  5. Unwanted Life – Unwanted Life's a blog about invisible disabilities (mental and physical health) combined with my personal experiences and knowledge to help destigmatise mental and physical health conditions
    Unwanted Life says:

    Is it really a scam if you’re paying someone to do your university work for you so you can pass someone else’s work off as your own? Seems like both people are wrong in that scenario and it would kind of service you right if that’s what your try to do

    1. It is a little bit karmic when it happens – but I think it’s a scam because the students don’t expect it, and could avoid it by not trying to cheat in the first place if they knew about it! (So if the students don’t scam, they won’t get scammed lol)

  6. Karalee – Hello! I created this blog in 2016 to share my reviews of cosmetics, skin care, and books. As well as reviews, you will also find various lifestyle posts from blogging advice to recipes!
    Karalee says:

    It’s terrible that there are so many scams that target students, but thank you for sharing them so others know what to look out for & avoid

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