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.
Thousands of students in the west are about to start the next phase of their academic careers. And as well as coping with a new life away from home, many are facing the challenge of managing a budget for the first time.
Experts are warning students to stay away from payday loans which many poorer students are tempted by. As David Wood reports, the advice is to make a budget and stick to it.
The University of Exeter has been ranked 168th out of 199 in the QS World University Rankings for 2013.
The University of Bristol came 30th and the University of Bath 187th.
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.
Cornwall can now boast its own university after the Government gave the go ahead for Falmouth College to be upgraded.
Over the last ten years student numbers have tripled to more than 4,000. More than £100 million has been invested at two campuses in Falmouth and Penryn.
A new grant scheme has been announced today (Thurs) to help more Cornish students get to university.
Four thousand students a year could get up to £3,000 from Cornwall Council to help with their living costs. All would also be eligible for a £30 card to help pay for books and travel.
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.