Students in Somerset are being warned against a fake university website, which is claiming to be linked to the Prior Park College based in Bath.
Prospective students have made payments of up to £5,500 to a fake establishment.
The trading standards department at Bath and North East Somerset Council have received a number of complaints from people about the site.
They have been advising all students who are considering attending a college or university to visit it first before parting with any money.
The Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester is set to become a university in the biggest expansion of higher education in 20 years.
It comes as the Government lowered the bar on student numbers needed for the title.
It will give attending students - who study the key industries of agriculture, food and land - the chance of a University education.
Growing numbers of students in the West are turning their backs on British universities in search of cheaper alternatives overseas. With tuition fees here set to rise, higher education providers in foreign countries are cashing in. Our Education Correspondent Richard Payne reports.