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Phishers masquerade as Newcastle University in online course scam

Newcastle University has warned students to avoid a phishing site that takes card payments for bogus online courses.

The site, dubbed Newcastle International University, promises “quality education” that breaks “geographical bounds [sic]”.

In addition to requesting fees, the site harvests names, dates of birth, passport numbers and other sensitive information.

Unsurprisingly, the real university isn’t happy that fraudsters are piggybacking off its brand.

It tweeted a statement advising anyone who comes across the site not to submit any personal details.

A spokesperson told NS Tech the university had reported the site to the relevant authorities.

He added: “We discovered the site on Wednesday 19 July. Since then, we’ve reported it to the hosting company, the organisation which provides the domain name, and the non-profit standards organisation, ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).”

Azeem Aleem of security firm RSA praised the approach: “The Newcastle University’s response has been admirable, quickly identifying and warning prospects about the site.

“Yet it is often very hard for a company or organisation to know if their site has been spoofed until someone has already become a victim.”