Weber State University's study abroad program sent a strongly worded letter on Tuesday advising students they may have received a fraudulent acceptance letter to a study abroad program this summer in Switzerland.
The problem is most WSU study abroad programs this summer are canceled. And, the university's travel guidelines say domestic and international travel shouldn't occur through at least July 31.
It turns out the letter was part of a plan hatched by three students trying to hoodwink their parents into sending them to Europe.
The letter, posted by WSU's study abroad program on Monday and addressed to students, indicated that several students might have received a letter from something called the "Weber Leadership Foundation" — a fictitious entity — saying they'd received a scholarship to attend a fake English program in late June and early July in Switzerland.
The letter indicated the university was sending a cease and desist order and advised students not to give personal information or money to the organization.
A university spokesperson cleared up the situation on Tuesday, saying the students sent the fake study abroad letter to each other in hopes of convincing their parents to let them go to Europe for the summer and that the fake letter wasn't a scam and wasn't intended to raise alarm.
According to WSU's study abroad website, many of the university's study abroad programs are canceled this summer. Some programs that are scheduled for later in the summer may end up happening, but it's a "wait-and-see" approach from the program.
WSU is advising students not to buy plane tickets or pay for anything out of pocket regarding study abroad programs at this time.