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Advice for students: Always check the link you click

Illegal cheating services are targeting legitimate Australian websites.

TEQSA has received evidence that some ‘edu.au’ websites have been compromised by malicious code, which redirects students to illegal cheating websites.

What we’re doing about this

TEQSA has informed all higher education providers of this risk and asked that action be taken to protect against this risk.

We’re also making use of Australia’s tough new laws to investigate illegal cheating websites and will soon be taking court action to block them.

What you can do

The type of malicious code these illegal cheating providers are inserting can result in what you think is a legitimate link taking you to a website operated by an illegal cheating service. This can make it difficult to detect. But there are some things you can do to protect yourself.

  1. Check the URL of any page you click on and ensure it is the correct website.
  2. When searching for academic support, use the search function within your institution’s website. Do not use a search engine.
  3. Do not use any website that asks for payment from you in order to access ‘study support’ or which offers essay or assignment writing services.
  4. Be wary when clicking links to any third-party website left in comments on a website or on social media pages.
  5. Confirm that essay or other competitions are legitimate. Illegal cheating services sometimes hold fake contests in a bid to get student work to on-sell.
  6. Never share your work online. This includes via social media or websites that ask for a sample of your work in return for ‘free’ support.
  7. Report any suspect website link on your institution’s website to your institution’s website team.
  8. Ensure you understand academic integrity. TEQSA’s resources for students are a great place to start.
  9. The Australian Cyber Security Centre has more general information for individuals about staying safe online.