As the start of the academic year beckons for university and college students, police in Mpumalanga have warned students about fraudsters who target vulnerable students desperate to secure places at universities and TVET colleges.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said prospective students, together with parents are running around trying to secure admission as well as accommodation from various tertiary institutions.
“Fraudsters often take advantage of this period and target the needy by promising them to make their dreams come true.
“Desperate students and parents would then be vulnerable and accept offers from these conniving fraudsters with both hands.”
Mdhluli said some of the fraudsters will convince their victims that they are well connected to authorities in the learning institutions whilst others would impersonate employees of these tertiary institutions.
“After gaining trust from their targets, the fraudsters would then solicit bribes from these desperate individuals in exchange of fake admission and bogus accommodation.
“Parents are therefore warned not to bet on a losing horse by depositing their hard earned cash into personal accounts of these scammers or send money via money markets.”
Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela urged parents to make background checks of tertiary learning institutions as some of them are non-existent.
“Before one makes payments to any institution, the authentic admission letter must be verified. People should avoid taking short-cuts.”