Fake University Diplomas– An Industry that is really booming
“Do you want a fake degree from a school in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham or other parts of the UK? Diploma Company stocks a number of realistic looking fake diplomas and degrees from colleges and universities across the United Kingdom! Each diploma is a true replication of an actual student issued certificate. Nobody offers better looking fake than us.”
Surprised? Not so for a growing number of people. This internet advertising is just one of the nearly 800.000 results from a Google search. According to the CNN, about 100.000 fake diplomas were bought in the USA in 2010. And that was long before the rise of the Chinese factories. Nowadays, any people can buy a degree (or postgraduate) diploma from the University of his choice, no matter whether the University is located in USA, UK, France, Spain, Germany or wherever. According to their claims, the physical paper used for the fake diplomas are just like the real ones. Stamps, signatures, colors and security marks are guaranteed to be the same that the ones used in real diplomas. Everything included for just under € 200. And it is not only about Diplomas. Fake Academic Records, personalized to each case, are also available.
This really global industry has a perverse effect both on the Academic Institutions and the job market. When somebody is hired on a premise of false academic records, this hurts the competing honest candidates and compromises the future performance of the company. When the unsuspecting employer later founds that his new employee is not as good as he was expecting, only in a few cases the fraud is discovered. In most cases, the reputation of the Academic Institution that appears on the Diploma is the one that suffers most.
The situation is somehow similar to other industries –like the fashion industry– that suffers from counterfeiting. In some cases, it is even worst, like the €200 as-the-original fake certificates from prestigious business schools where getting the accredited one costs no less than €150.000. Clearly, some kind of action is required. And this is where the newest technologies like Blockchain may help. But this is a theme for another post.