Police urge parents to be aware of fly-by-night tertiary institutions, accommodation

Scammers are out to steal your cash, so trust your gut instinct and do some research. Picture: Pixabay

Scammers are out to steal your cash, so trust your gut instinct and do some research. Picture: Pixabay

Published Jan 8, 2024

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As the new academic year approaches, police in the Free State are urging parents and guardians not to fall victim to bogus tertiary institutions or accommodations.

The provincial police spokesperson, Sergeant Mahlomola Kareli, said the back-to-school rush has started and urged parents and guardians to be vigilant when applying to and enrolling at various institutions.

He urged parents to be weary of accommodations only available over the phone and online and cautioned about higher learning institutions that only exist by name and have no campus or classes.

“Police in the Free State are pleading with parents or guardians not to deposit any cash into any account before they physically visit the school or personally pay a visit to such school or accommodation. This is to avoid being scammed, as cases of parents who were defrauded were registered in previous years at police stations in and around the province,” Kareli said.

Parents and guardians have also been urged to check out the legitimacy of tertiary institutions.

“To confirm if the institution of higher learning is registered and legitimate, please contact the Department of Higher Education and Training before you deposit any funds into any account as provided by any institution,” Kareli said.

The Free State police commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane urged parents and guardians to trust their guts.

"These fly-by-night institutions and people who defraud guardians or parents of their savings with non-existing student accommodations must be reported. If you suspect something dodgy, it probably is fraud, and stay away from it,” Motswenyane said.

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