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Fake University Pretended to Be University of Alberta

March 19, 2018
 
 

Logo of fake California South UniversityA fake college calling itself California South University stole the University of Alberta's history and campus, The Globe and Mail reported.

The nonexistent college with a listed address in Irvine, Calif. -- which is a two-story house -- claimed its main campus consisted of 50 city blocks, 150 buildings and 39,000 students -- a layout that is identical to the University of Alberta. California South also copied much of Alberta's history on its site, which is accessible on the Wayback Machine.

The fake college also claimed that Albert's former president and vice chancellor Indira Samarasekera was one of its past presidents. In addition, according to the false site, the current president of California South is Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.

In a February blog post, Alberta explained that it contacted the website's service providers several times last month requesting the site be taken down.

A California professor noticed the fictitious university late last year. William Grover, an assistant professor in bioengineering at the University of California, Riverside, told CBC News that he received an email from the fake university asking for money to have his work published. Grover, who lives near the university's listed address, realized that California South was fake and notified the University of Alberta in December. According to Grover, “predatory journals” and websites “prey on the publish-or-perish attitude in academia.”

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