Sitting here, considering it, I don’t actually know where my buy fake diplomas online is, which is a cause for concern for a couple of reasons. First: that we am somehow absent-minded enough to be effective towards something to find the best component of three years, just to lose it. And secondly, that I’ve never actually needed it. Every job I’ve had since graduating – that is admittedly only this and cleaning toilets inside a museum – I’ve got without ever being forced to show anybody the proof of my qualification.
About this evidence, there was clearly hardly any point in me having studied to start with. I may as well have just spent several quid internet and bought myself a fake degree. Saved myself the funds, the tears, the endless bottles of Iceland’s Lambrucini.
Because: people really do this. Plenty of individuals are buying fake degrees from fake universities. The internet is filled with them. Data dropped this week via HEDD (Higher Education Degree Datacheck) revealing that over 30 fake universities have been shut down previously year. With a few posing as actual institutions, others purporting to be online-based open learning programmes, the web has allowed an excessive proliferation of fake unis, and there are concerns the issue is getting worse.
But exactly how easy could it be? Can I actually get yourself a degree on the net? The amount of universities out there are also real? Why am I wearing a child’s Darth Vader costume in my graduation photo? Did I even head to university?
To resolve a number of these questions, I first contacted Jayne Rowley, director of HEDD, for more information in regards to the bullshit universities around. “Well, it’s been a hidden problem,” says Jayne. “It had been only really with setting up the HEDD service four to five in the past that there’s been any way of creating up a national picture of degree fraud.”
HEDD is a government-funded operation first set up in 2008, as central verification service for UK degrees – prior to that, in the event you desired to check somebody’s degree was legit you had to make it happen from the university themselves, which put plenty of employers off. “Since we went live we’ve done over 160,000 verification checks,” Jayne adds. “Which includes obviously thrown up a number of fake certificates, fake websites and queries about bogus universities.”
As outlined by Jayne, fake universities can be found in great shape. “You’ve got straightforward bogus operations, where there is absolutely no university – they’re just setting up a website to look like a UK university. Those are very to dupe innocent potential students into thinking they’re looking for a UK university, or to make people think these are studying on the distance learning course online, when they’re not. Those reel in innocent victims.”
Some “fake students”, however, are under innocent. One of the greatest problems fake universities present are people buying fraudulent qualifications to be able to deceive employers. “You will find the websites that happen to be purely set up to back-up bogus certificates,” Jayne explains. “An extremely common thing is for those who have fake certificates to say, ‘Oh, you can examine my certificate in the university website. Then you certainly go the site – University of Wolverhamton without having the ‘p’ was actually a popular one – enter the details on the certificate, and a message comes back saying, ‘This person is a bonafide graduate.'”
In terms of Jayne sees it, this really is a real and growing trend. “In March this coming year, the chance Advisory Group published a written report which screened 500 CVs and discovered major discrepancies with 70 % of those,” she says, “and of the discrepancies, 28 percent had issues with educational qualifications. People genuinely don’t see lying on his or her CVs as a criminal offence, yet it is.”
This reminded me of the websites that did the rounds after i was at sixth form where you can buy “novelty” ID cards that let you squeeze through the doors of nightclubs. Surely getting a degree wouldn’t be so simple?
Well yeah, actually. It took me about four seconds to land on Instant Degrees, a site that offers courses starting from Afrikaans to accounting, and all you want do is fill a form. Above is my application to get a degree in feminism – a degree I obtained with the tender ages of seven.
Jayne describes Instant Degrees as a website just selling fake certificates and “not bothering to pretend they can be a university”. In spite of this, these are very keen to stress how totally legal everything they provide is. Within their words: “This can be a valuable free service directed at above averagely intelligent people who understand the need for having the ability to instantly convert their existing knowledge in a degree, quickly and legally.” That is a nice way of looking at it. It sort of validates your dad’s mate Roger who seems to be constantly banging on about how exactly degrees are a complete waste of time and how he learnt everything they know from “the University of Life”.
Further in the bullshit scale is Canterbury University. Their homepage is above. Now, it might seem you’ve heard of Canterbury University. You haven’t; you’ve read about Canterbury Christ Church University. Canterbury University is, Jayne tells me, just about the most blatant offenders still online. It even has a page where degree holders can enter in the code on the rear of their certificate as a way to “verify” their degree. But as Jayne indicates, it can be easy to debunk the university’s existence. “Google street view can be your friend when tracking down bogus institutions,” she tells me. Which dexqpky12 sense if you look at a street view of Canterbury University’s supposed address.
That’s right. Ol’ Canterbury University. Nestled neatly between “Top Dogz” and “Ph Signs”. Where dreams are created.
However, if completing the applying forms with a fake uni website seems too taxing, there’s an even easier method that’s been right under our noses all this time: eBay.
Jayne has put this method towards the test herself. “We bought some from the guy who has been offering fake certificates for £6.95 with nectar points,” she explains. “They claim ‘this is made for novelty purposes’, but they’re not allowed to publish certificates who have university trademarks on them; they are still in breach of copyright. And then we bought some, one was in too difficult. The certificates came and so they had holograms, signatures, but usefully the eBay seller had sent them in a envelope having a return name and address about the back, so that we handed them to trading standards. Still got the nectar points though.”
University is seeming as an increasingly unrealistic prospect nowadays, so it’s no wonder individuals are searching for alternatives, especially given that the grants system in britain has been scrapped. Sadly, however, the world of fake universities can be as treacherous as real ones. It might seem you’re registering for an absolutely legitimate Science of Feminism masters at the University of Bedford, only to discover yourself the most up-to-date victim in long-line played with the most academic hustlers within the game. Either that, or you’re a hustler yourself, trying to blag the right path onto a grad-scheme using a make believe buy a diploma you got on eBay. If that’s the situation, then beware: the heads at HEDD are onto you, fresher.