Franklin Virtual High School Warns Consumers to Avoid Online Diploma Scams by Doing Some Homework and Checking Credentials

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Franklin Virtual High School (, which specializes in offering high school level education to students of all ages, is alerting consumers that diploma mills, based overseas but operating in the United States via the Internet, engage in deceptive practices that result in worthless documents and broken promises. These non-credentialed entities often use legitimate advertising venues to entice consumers, school officials said.

“Let the buyer beware” remains good advice, especially for those seeking to boost their chances at employment opportunities by obtaining an online degree, according to officials at Franklin Virtual High School (

Here’s why: Thousands of Americans who in good faith spend hard-earned money to enhance job-seeking efforts by securing an online degree have been defrauded by overseas diploma mills who use legitimate, brand-name advertising venues such as Google to lure unknowing consumers into a web of deceit.

In some cases, the scam is compounded because position-paid ads refer to different schools—even though they are operated by a single overseas entity that (when exposed) re-emerges using new names, experts in the field say. Information about just such a diploma mill can be found at

These documented deceptions have a two-fold effect: First, Americans waste time and money on fake degrees that are illegitimate and useless; second, unregulated competition from overseas scammers increases advertising expenses for authentic businesses and forces them out of the marketplace.

Unfortunately, “the United States has extremely limited jurisdiction over (these) international corporations,” said Dr. Sanjiv Bhatnagar, an international law professor.

“This predatory practice is squeezing out legitimate schools with solid options for teens and adults seeking to complete their high school education or earn an equivalency certificate,” said David Hooser, FVHS chief administrative officer.

Additional details about unethical online practices by overseas operations can be found at, information for which, in part, “is supplied 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.”

These warnings, however, go unheeded unless students do some aggressive homework.

“While I believe prospective students have to be diligent and select a program that has real substance, these fake schools are now able to inundate the Internet with Google/Yahoo,” explained Hooser, “essentially validating them by accepting their advertising dollars and presenting them to their search engine visitors.”

In an effort to bring attention to the problem, FVHS has developed a quick reference guide of currently advertised online school programs/options, which can be found at

“Prospective students can do their due diligence and be assured they are choosing a valuable educational option,” Hooser said. “In addition, FVHS offers a variety of satisfaction or money back guarantees so students will rest assured they’ve made a solid choice if they select and complete a FVHS program.”

Hooser notes that legitimate organizations such as Franklin have credentialed references. For example, FVHS is accredited by Advanc-Ed (, parent organization for SACS, NCA, and NWAC.

“We are also a BBB Accredited business with an A+ Rating,” he added. “Our school code is #5466. Our CEEB number is 102457.”

In order to help students, parents, prospective employers, and other stakeholders, Franklin has assembled information about its credentials at

For more information, 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. SACS Accredited and BBB A+ rated, the school was founded in 2009 to offer 100 percent online education. 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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