Officials at Reed College say they suspect the Web site of the non-existent University of Redwood is part of a scheme to collect application fees from prospective students in Hong Kong and Asia, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
After collecting a fee, "a shrewd scammer could wait several weeks, then issue a rejection letter, and the student would never know," said Martin Ringle, chief technology officer at Reed.
Reed College in Portland is an exclusive school with annual fees of just under $50,000.
In October, school officials found that a Google search of Reed faculty showed them also listed at University of Redwood.
Photos and even school history was hijacked, they said.
Reed is named after Oregon pioneers Simeon and Amanda Reed.
"Redwood is named after the Oregon pioneers Simeon and Amanda Redwood," the Redwood site says.
"Whoever did this went to some trouble to clone a good deal of material from the first three layers of the Reed College site and change all mentions of Reed to Redwood," Ringle said.
Reed officials say they believe the Web site's domain is owned by somebody in China.
"Our lawyers are seeking to shut the faux Redwood site down," Reed spokesman Kevin Myers said.