There are literally thousands of internet ads offering degrees earned online for a minimal amount of work and/or no papers submitted. There are also Masters or Doctorates offered if you proved that you have sufficient “life experience.” There are even legit universities conferring degrees that they are not authorized to teach. All of this amounts to a false degree from a Diploma Mill. How would you like to fork thousands and waste a lot of time for a bachelors’ certificate, then find out that your college is a diploma mill? It’s an experience that nobody wants. The good thing is that, as the world’s premier provider of Primary Source Verification (PSV), we can give you tips to avoid scammers like this.
What are diploma mills?
Diploma mills are not just fake universities that offer you a degree for money. Some degree mills are worse than that. They offer a modicum of respectability by saying that you need to “earn” your education. It will only require minimum effort but will need a lot of money. Some are web-based universities that offer courses which are not recognized anywhere. In short, degrees, certificates, or diplomas that you get from diploma mills are fake.
There are admittedly unscrupulous people that want to gain employment suited for qualified professionals, but don’t want to put in the hard work to qualify. What they resort to is the purchase of counterfeit Diplomas that look like the real deal, with seals, stamps, and all the bells and whistles. It will not pass further scrutiny, though, as the institutions which supposedly issued these certificates will not have any records of their admission, or they simply don exist.
Online University Scams
The most common of the diploma mill scams are the online universities which offer a degree that’s not recognized anywhere in the world. It’s very easy to construct a website that looks totally legit, with online courses, webinars, and a curriculum that mirrors the real deal. What they don’t tell you is that they are not recognized by any accrediting body that oversees the regulation of a profession. For example, I know of a licensed Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) in the Philippines who enrolled in a course like this. She was duped into thinking that this course is a pre-requisite to an Australian CPA license. The issue is that none of the recognized professional accounting organizations in Australia sanctioned it. Do research the accreditation of any online courses before you enroll. The DataFlow Group has an extensive database solution called CrossCheck. CrossCheck has specialized datasets that can verify whether an institution is flagged as a diploma mill, or if a university is unaccredited.
Individuals who have distinguished themselves in one way or another might be conferred with an honourary degree. Some scammers prey on the ego of prominent executives. They offer a Masters Degree or a Doctorate in exchange for their “life experience”. Of course, they would confer this “degree” if you enroll in a course that costs a lot of money, but would not entail doing the time. Bottom line: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
There are fake universities or colleges that offer courses on pseudo-sciences. They are even accredited by a “governing body” for that particular branch of science. The problem is, no self-respecting government organization recognizes it. It’s all mumbo-jumbo feel-good rhetoric without any factual basis that dupes would-be students into thinking that they’re part of an avant-garde educational movement.
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