Education Industry Fraud

Education Industry Fraud

What is Education Industry Fraud?

Education fraud refers to any fraudulent activity involving educational institutions and individuals trying to defraud people into paying for unneeded services. The most common types of academic fraud include but are not limited to:

  • Fake schools
  • Fake degrees
  • Fake accreditation
  • False advertising
  • Unnecessary courses
  • Non-existent teachers
  • Fake professors
  • Fake tutors
  • Fake accreditors
  • Fake employers
  • Fake job fairs
  • Fake scholarships 

Tips for Securing Educational Institutions

Educators should take steps to protect their institutions from cyberattacks. This includes implementing strong password policies, using two-factor authentication, and keeping software updated. Educators should also ensure adequate security measures before allowing access to sensitive information, such as social media passwords, banking details, and medical records. It is important that they also use encryption technology to secure important documents and files on computers and mobile devices. 

They should also ensure they have robust physical security procedures, including installing surveillance cameras, monitoring suspicious behavior, and conducting background checks. Educators should also educate staff about cybersecurity best practices and how to spot potential threats. Staff members should also be trained to identify phishing emails and other scams.

The most common fraud takes place at the university level. These include phishing scams, which are often used to steal login credentials from students and faculty members. Other forms of fraud include fake job listings, fraudulent scholarship applications, and fake degree programs.

What can academic institutions and others do to guard against fraud?

There are many steps that academic institutions can utilize to protect against education industry fraud:

  • Employ a firm password policy, using two-factor authentication, and keeping software updated. 
  • Educate students on phishing email dangers and encourage them to report any suspicious activity.
  • Implement robust physical security measures, including installing surveillance cameras and monitoring suspicious behavior. 
  • Universities should conduct thorough background checks on all employees, especially those directly contacting students or faculty. 
  • Inform students and faculty members about the importance of protecting their online identities and credit card numbers.

How to Prevent Email Fraud that Targets Educational Institutions

Always double check the email address you are emailing to make sure it is legitimate. It is essential to check whether the email address has been used before and whether it belongs to you. If you receive an email asking you to pay money to access your university details, you should immediately report it to the IT department at your institution. You should never give out any personal information via email when asked to do so. If someone asks you to send money through Western Union or MoneyGram, you should not comply. Always remember to log off your computer after accessing websites that ask you. Learn more about how to report cybersecurity fraud here.

Recommendations for Safeguarding Against Fraud

The best way to protect yourself from fraud is to avoid giving out personal information online. If you must share sensitive information, make sure you know who you’re sharing it with and what they intend to use it for. Avoid clicking links in unsolicited emails. Never click on attachments unless you trust the sender. When buying anything online, carefully read the terms and conditions. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t let anyone pressure you into paying upfront for services. If you don’t see any payment options, then don’t proceed. Remember to keep your software updated and secure. Make sure you regularly scan your computer for viruses. 

Do You Have an Education Industry Fraud Case to Report?

If you suspect that your institution has fallen victim to a cyberattack, contact the Whistleblower Protection Laws immediately.  For more information, you can contact The Whistleblower Advocates at (833) 310-3147 for a FREE, confidential consultation.

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