Plagiarism continues to dominate the academic world as one of its greatest challenges, and the existing literature suggests cross-cultural investigation of this critical issue may help all shareholders who detect, are confronted by and struggle with this issue to address it. Therefore, the present study, drawing upon a cross-cultural investigation using a questionnaire, aimed to investigate the differences between three groups of students, namely, Turkish (n = 106), Georgian (n = 83) and German (n = 72) regarding their tendency to conduct academic theft. It also investigated ways in which to plagiarise and reasons for and awareness of this issue. The results show that lack of time, busy schedules and weak academic writing skills are the most frequent reasons for plagiarism. However, in contrast to previous studies, the role of the Internet was found to be minimal in relation to increasing plagiarism. It is also worth noting that the German participants were found to have a higher level of sensitivity to this academic malpractice and were seen to be much more successful at identifying it. The article concludes with workable suggestions on how to discourage academic theft at universities.