Fraudulent Online ‘Schools’ are Luring Students Now, While Google Seems Unable to Take Action

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Officials at Franklin Virtual High School, which specializes in offering high school level education to students of all ages, have expressed extreme concern over Google’s inability to stop fraudulent diploma mills that clearly do not comply with the search engine’s own stringent guidelines, or Federal Trade commission rules. These schools advertise under a variety of names (with as many as five different Google ads at once) to lure unsuspecting students hoping to earn a degree or high school equivalent in order to gain better employment. Their hard-earned dollars get them what ends up being useless documents.

“What students get from these diploma mills isn’t worth the paper it’s written on,” said Hooser

Recent information reflects that approximately 1.2 million people each month enter the keyword “GED”(or other GED and high school derivatives) into search engines, in order to find a way to earn valid online certification that will translate into landing a better job. Unfortunately, many fraudulent diploma mills that clearly do not meet Google’s stringent adverting guidelines are nevertheless advertising on the search engine. Google seems unable to take action, and one legitimate online school, Franklin Virtual High School ( would like to see this resolved.

“One thing we know,” said David Hooser, chief administrative officer at Franklin, “is that one particular advertiser is placing as many as five ads at once under a variety of school names, though they are really just a single operation.” According to Hooser, this entity has been exposed numerous times, yet by creating a variety of different business entities, school names and URLs, they continue to be found in prominent Google PPC (pay-per-click) positions.

Not only does this see Americans throwing their hard-earned money away, but it makes it increasingly difficult fora legitimate entities such as Franklin Virtual High School to meet increased advertising (PPC) expenses that fraudulent schools are willing to pay for university- and high school-level Google advertising keywords.

One international law professor, Dr. Sanjiv Bhatnagar, has recently expressed concern over this issue, including being quoted as saying that, “the United States has extremely limited jurisdiction over (these) international corporations.” Further information (about this and efforts to quell the trend) can be found at

“What students get from these diploma mills isn’t worth the paper it’s written on,” said Hooser. “On the other hand, Franklin is fully accredited, invests in real academic program creation and support, and offers a low-cost alternative with a variety of satisfaction or money back guarantees so those who sign up with us can rest assured they’re not throwing their money away.”

“That said, consumers must be diligent and check credentials before signing up with any online school. We’re so dedicated to helping potential students that we’ve developed a quick reference guide of currently advertised online school programs/options that can be found on our site at,” Hooser noted. Franklin is accredited by Advanc-Ed, parent organization for SACS, NCA, and NWAC, as well as having earned an A+ Rating from the BBB. All Franklin accreditation information can be found on their site.

Further information regarding scam schools operating overseas has been put together in part by The Coalition for Advocates of Online Education, and the Online Consumer Fraud Monitoring Advocates of America as Advocates for the Investigative Program Advisory Reporting of Distance Learning Fraud Rings and can be can be found on the Web at

To learn more about Franklin Virtual High School, call (888) 990-3847.

ABOUT: Franklin Virtual High School (FVHS) caters to teens and adults seeking to fulfill high school education requirements or equivalency as full- or part-time students. The school, which was founded in 2009 to offer 100 percent online education, is accredited by Advanc-Ed, parent organization for SACS, NCA, and NWAC, and BBB A+ rated. As a private enterprise, FVHS is a tuition-based educational institution that does not compete with public or charter schools for government funds. FVHS students are seeking to achieve a variety of goals, from career advancement to continuing their education, whether at trade/vocational schools, private schools and community colleges, or at major universities.


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David Hooser - Chief Administrative Officer
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