In a statement on 15 January 2022, Algerian authorities announced the arrest of a criminal gang suspected of scamming Algerian university students out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The statement by the National Directorate of State Security said that at least 75 students were scammed by the gang, who had set up a fake education consultancy.

The fake education consultancy offered to enrol students at universities in Turkey, Ukraine, and Russia and pay for their tuition and accommodation for a year, in exchange for a sum of 20,000 euros (US$22,830). When the students arrived in those countries they found that their university tuition fees were only paid for three months and they had only been given two nights accommodation at a hotel.

The gang reportedly included the son of an Algerian parliamentarian and advertised the scam on social media, including through influencers.

Algerian authorities said that the gang changed the name of the fake company several times. The names used included: Future Gate, Svit-Osviti, and The scammers set up offices in several Algerian provinces, such as Algiers, Annaba in eastern Algeria and Oran in the west of the country.

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Source: The New Arab