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updated 3/15/2011 5:16:00 PM ET 2011-03-15T21:16:00

Online criminals have created a website for a nonexistent university and are using it to steal application fees from prospective students from abroad.

The fictitious school is called University of Redwood, and its website, www.uredwood.com, contains a faculty directory and pictures of an idyllic campus, both of which belong to Reed College in Portland, Ore., according to the Wall Street Journal.

Even the fake school’s history is taken nearly word for word from Reed’s website.

Reed officials believe the fake college website is being used by online scammers to steal application fees from students in Hong Kong and Asia.

“A shrewd scammer could wait several weeks, then issue a rejection letter, and the student would never know,” Martin Ringle, chief technology officer at Reed, told the WSJ.

Ringle told SecurityNewsDaily that the fake college website first went up in October 2010, but was taken down in early November after Reed College filed a Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice with Wild West Domains, a subsidiary of the domain hosting company Go Daddy.

Three weeks ago, Ringle was notified that the site had gone back online.

Ringle said he has seen the fake university’s name mentioned on several Asian higher-education blogs.

© 2012 SecurityNewsDaily. All rights reserved

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