Police check on poly fraud attempt
Sunday 23 August 1992
It is thought that offers of a place in higher education were to have been used to gain illegal entry to the United Kingdom. But the attempted fraud has also revealed that the higher education system is vulnerable to similar false applications, which can be used for many purposes.
Sixty bogus applications were found, all purporting to be from people of Nigerian origin but claiming to be British. They were discovered when six arrived together. Sharp-eyed checkers at the PCAS centre in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, noticed that the wording of references was identical in some cases. A search revealed more than 60 similar forms, all posted in the Manchester and London areas. Others may have slipped through.
Any offer of a place at a university or polytechnic would not be taken up. Rather, the documentation offering the place could be used to obtain a visa, secure entry to Britain, open a bank account, claim social security benefits and generally help establish an identity. But a crime only occurs when a falsely-obtained offer of a place is fraudulently used.
Mike Scott, deputy chief executive of PCAS, said the references and qualifications on some forms were false and, probably, the names and addresses were also fake.
He said that the applicants - or, as was thought more likely, applicant - were offering reasonable academic qualifications which would be acceptable to higher education institutions. The references were professionally done, including one with a Barclays Bank stamp.
PCAS is handling 350,000 applications from A-level students, so checking for fraudulent forms would be a huge task. Introducing a check to prevent similar frauds in future is considered impossible. PCAS relies on universities and polytechnics carrying out a second check.
Chief Inspector Colin Handy, of Gloucestershire police, said the applications had been sent to a forensic science laboratory for study by handwriting experts.
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
FCKH8's provocative anti-sexism video showing young girls swearing reinstated by YouTube
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£45000 per annum: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Datacentre Consultant (Datacentre,...
£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Randstad Education Cardiff is...
£45000 per annum + Excellent Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: .NET Develope...
£40000 - £65000 per annum + bonus + benefits + OT: Ampersand Consulting LLP: C...