Fake Degree Scams Now Include Documents from Mainstream University Degree Programs, Warns Online Education Expert

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Controversies surrounding diploma mills and degree scams have been making headlines for several years. The popularity of the Internet has resulted in the wide availability of fake university degrees to anyone with the money to pay. The latest threat involves not just documents from non-existent or unaccredited colleges, warns Robert Johnston of Degreeboard.com (http://www.degreeboard.com), but faked documents and transcripts from accredited and even well-known higher education institutions.

In the past, unaccredited distance learning degree programs were fairly easy to spot by an experienced consumer or employer

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Controversies surrounding diploma mills and degree scams have been making headlines for several years. The popularity of the Internet has resulted in the wide availability of fake university degrees to anyone with the money to pay. The latest threat involves not just documents from non-existent or unaccredited colleges, warns Robert Johnston of Degreeboard.com (http://www.degreeboard.com), but faked documents and transcripts from accredited and even well-known higher education institutions.

"In the past, unaccredited distance learning degree programs were fairly easy to spot by an experienced consumer or employer," says Johnston, administrator of Degreeboard.com, which provides distance learning information for those seeking legitimate online college or graduate degrees. "But now no university degree program is exempt from being tarnished. Students, employers, and universities need to understand that scam artists are selling fake degrees and transcripts from accredited university degree programs to anyone willing to pay. Interested in a degree from Florida State University? If you don't want to do the four years of work needed to earn a college degree, you can buy one."

Unless the potential employer or admissions office checks with the university, no one may be able to tell the difference, Johnston notes. The fake diplomas come complete with the university seal and transcripts.

With the current financial crisis worldwide, Internet sites such as Degreeboard.com have reported a significant increase in the number of people inquiring about distance education degree programs to obtain or maintain a competitive edge. The American public understands that undergraduate and graduate degrees mean greater job security in an uncertain job market.

"These fake degree scams might mean that highly qualified people could experience more difficulty in getting or keeping their jobs because unethical people are willing to sell education credentials to anyone who has enough money," says Johnston. "It could have a negative impact on employers as well. Hiring someone who is unable to perform their job duties because they bought a degree from a traditional or online degree university from one of these con artists can deal a financial blow to the business."

Cameron Denton, an avid reader of Degreeboard.com, is upset about the potential for social harm from this trend. "These scams don't help anyone except the people selling them. Consider the crisis that could result if someone purchased an engineering degree from Stanford University, but had no experience. Imagine the untold disaster if this person were hired to build a bridge or a skyscraper!"

For more information about these and other current issues and controversies in online degree university programs, visit http://www.degreeboard.com. Thousands of people interested in distance learning and online higher education are discussing their concerns and opinions in the site's educational forums.

Contact: Shoshana Dovid, 1.866.384.9528

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