Warning – be aware of fee scam

A scam is an unjust scheme devised to separate you from your money in a dishonest or deceitful way and give little or nothing in return. Scams generally involve organisations or individuals operating under unregistered or fraudulent names. Scams often prey on people’s vulnerability and use lies and tricks to convince you they are genuine.

There have been a number of reports of a fee scam. The scam involves a friend recommending a third party who provides a fee discount – presumably on the assumption that fees are negotiable and the third party has a capacity to bargain hard. Students are advised to pay their fees less 10% to the third party. Following this payment the student receives receipts of fee payment made by credit card – presumably stolen. The credit card holder then disputes the payment, and the payment is reversed.

To be safe with your money, remember:

  • La Trobe University does not require or ask you for your bank account information – including your account number or BSB (never give your account number or BSB number to anyone you don’t know over email).
  • La Trobe University does not provide fee discounts to any third party so please pay the fees directly with the university online or in person at ASK La Trobe.
  • Check any documents to make sure personal information is not included before giving them out to people online.
  • If you suspect an email is fake or spam, delete it without opening it.
  • Keep anti-virus and anti-spam software up-to-date.
  • Don’t click on links in emails – use your bookmarks to visit your bank’s website, or type the address into your browser.
  • Check your bank and credit card account statements regularly.
  • If you think you may have provided financial information like credit card numbers to a phisher, contact your financial institution or credit card company immediately.

Banks in Australia do not send emails requesting you to confirm, update or disclose your confidential banking information. Further information from Consumer Affairs List of Scams or the ScamWatch for information on a variety of scams or to report a suspected scam.