Current Status

This blog is not frequently updated because most case-by-case scam reports are now listed in subordinate blogs. At this point in time, most of my efforts are targeted at documenting employment scams in the Suckers Wanted blog.


Info: Degree/Diploma Mills

The sale of fake academic qualifications is a multi-million dollar industry. Like much fraud, it thrives in situations which cross jurisdictional boundaries. Fake educational institutions in the UK can sell to unwitting saps in the USA with nigh-impunity. Even within the USA, operating between states can present enough of a hurdle that a fraudster can rake in millions for years without facing justice. The global nature of the Internet makes it ideal for such dodgy dealing: spam and websites relating to fake academic qualifications are rife. It is usually possible for these shonky institutions to place advertisements for their services (both online and in print) in the same channels used by the real instiutions, including some prestigious publications.

Fake educational institutions sell certificates, not education. Further, they make no effort to certify that the recipient of the award actually has any knowledge in the field of the award. This is why they are often called "diploma mills", or "degree mills": they simply churn out impressive-looking pieces of paper in volume. Most of them invent a credible-sounding name for their virtual institution, then churn out awards. Some go so far as to invent a credible-sounding institution to accredit their institution. (In the USA, tertiary institutions are not directly accredited or established by the government, which is what makes this kind of fraud feasible.) Others take the more direct approach of producing "replacement" certificates for those you claim to have lost, and these can be any degree from just about any institution.

Here are some useful sources of information on the problem of diploma mills.

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