How Fake US University Conned Kenyan Scholar Ksh 240K.
A Kenyan scholar is counting her losses after paying Ksh239,688 to an online university in the United States of America that offered her a scholarship to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
In an interview with Nola.com, the Kenyan national revealed that while looking for an online university to further her master’s degree, she came across the City University of New Orleans.
She was overjoyed to be admitted and offered a scholarship. Following a background check, she agreed to pay Ksh204,111 as part of a reduced tuition fee.
A man claiming to be the school’s administrator assured her that she would be virtually attending her classes.
However, even before her classes began, she encountered a snag: she had been locked out of the system after changing her location from Oman to Kenya.
When questioned, the ‘administrator’ explained that her change of location rendered her admission invalid and that she needed to pay an additional Ksh34,976 for fresh registration.
She has, however, yet to attend a single class. Furthermore, the institution has attempted to contact her multiple times, not to resolve her issues, but to request more money.
“It was not just the money. It was my dream shattering into pieces,” she told journalist Marie Fazio.
The victim admitted that she mistook CUNO for a component of the University of New Orleans (UNO). UNO Spokesperson Adam Norris, on the other hand, denied any affiliation with the online institution.
Norris went on to say that UNO had received complaints from a number of students who had been duped into paying for an online degree. The striking similarity of the features used on CUNO’s website, he believes.
“The University of New Orleans is concerned that CUNO is using UNO’s name recognition and visual identity to mislead and prey upon unsuspecting students and families in an attempt to assert its legitimacy and entice payment,” he added.
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According to Kenyans.co.ke, CUNO is not on the list of registered physical and online universities in America, whereas UNO is registered and ranked 457.
Furthermore, a reverse search revealed that the images used on the online campus website were not the property of CUNO.
The proliferation of online universities has created an opportunity for con artists to prey on unsuspecting students and steal their money.
How to Recognize a Fraudulent Online University
- Look up the university’s name and reviews online.
- Verify the university’s and the institution granting the listing’s accreditation status.
- Keep an eye out for the application process. The majority of processes are lengthy and time-consuming.
- Be wary of universities that demand tuition fees in advance.
- Confirm resource availability and contact information.