Fake Texas University Using Address That Doesn't Exist To Lure Students

By Dani Medina

August 11, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

Be wary of this "university" while you're filling out college applications this fall.

Operating under an address that doesn't exist and faculty members who aren't real, the "Houston University of Science and Technology" is luring students to its website to sign up and pay fees, according to a KHOU investigation.

"Houston University of Science and Technology" promises a "high-quality education that brings you ultimate success" and is a "remarkable center of excellence," according to reviews on its website, which has since been taken down.

A prospective student received a call from a "university representative" who was giving her information about the school's master's program. "You will be provided with, like, a very high scholarship, like 80%. You just need to pay the admission fee to lock in your application. You know, the scholarship is going to end you have to make a decision," the student said about the phone call. The student, whose first name is Dalia, said she paid the $399 fee to sign up. But then she "started to feel icky" about the situation — which she was right to.

KHOU found the university's "address" (301 San Jacinto Street) wasn't home to a university at all. The closest building to it is actually the Harris County juvenile courthouse. The website also shows dozens of faculty members, but a reverse image search found these "professors" to be stock images.

The legitimate University of Houston commented on the situation and assured that they are not affiliated with this fake university and asks anyone who might have felt deceived to contact the Federal Commission Bureau of Consumer Protection and file a complaint.

A "university" spokesperson with the legal affairs team hung up on KHOU during its investigation. The news outlet found the domain name for "Houston University of Science and Technology" was created anonymously in January.

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