Cape Town - Cape Town universities have advised university applicants to be wary of posts promising placement at their institution in exchange for a fee payment.
The plea came about after the University of the Western Cape (UWC) had to alert the public and applicants aware of a picture with fake information being spread on social media.
The fabricated image stated: “At University of the Western Cape, we understand that getting rejected from your dream university can be disheartening. That’s why we’re committed to providing opportunities for qualifying applicants who have been rejected or are on the waiting list.
“Our new program is designed to offer guaranteed admission to these students, provided they meet the necessary requirements...”
The post goes onto to say that people should call or email the specified contact details, and then applicants will be guided through the process.
UWC called out the post in a statement stating that it had not been issued by the university.
"UWC will never promise any placement in exchange for a fee. Placements are conducted in a rigorous manner through well-established protocols and does not include the exchange of fees payable to the university as is purported in the post.
“In addition, placement can never be guaranteed,” the university said.
The Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) spokesperson, Lauren Kansley said that all universities are plagued by fake news and posts like the UWC one.
“As always we encourage people to visit the official CPUT website for information on courses with space, and to do those applications on time so that they don’t fall victim to these scams out of desperation.
“We will never encourage you to mail an individual directly or via WhatsApp,” Kansley said.
University of Cape Town (UCT) Elijah Moholola said while they have not come across any such posts recently, it is important for people to be aware of such scams.
“UCT wishes to alert prospective students against such scams, which have occurred in the past. Prospective students are urged to be vigilant against these fraudulent acts, which apart from requesting money in exchange for placement can take various other forms such as fake student accommodation offers.
“In an event of uncertainty, prospective students can contact UCT’s Campus Protection Services at 021 650 2222/3 for verification or to report any suspicious activity,” Moholola said.