- It all starts with accreditation.
One of the requirements Educational Institutions must achieve in order to be able to provide these services is to be accredited by a governing body. The governing body usually consists of industry related associations like the American Dental Association or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Fraudulent educational institutions or “Diploma Mills” will claim they have accreditation through certain agencies, however these agencies are as fake as the university selling the degree (Here are a few of those unaccredited agencies):
- American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE)
- American Association for Higher Education and Accreditation (AAHEA)
- Accreditation Council for Distance Education (ACTDE)
- Accreditation Council for Online Academia (ACOHE)
- Accreditation Panel for Online Colleges and Universities (APTEC)
- Accrediting Commission International (ACI)
- American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions
- American Council of Private Colleges and Universities
- American Association of Drugless Practitioners (ADP)
- Association of Accredited Bible Schools
- How is the verification conducted through the university?
Majority of accredited institutions will utilize a third party called the Student Clearing House to provide educational verification to outside entities (background screening companies, private employers, mortgage companies, etc.). There still are other institutions that will verify education “in house” this is usually done through the registrar’s office, and is accompanied by a signed release form from the subject of the verification. Fake institutions will usually have a one page website (this is your first red flag, accredited universities will have an extensive website), where they ask you to fax your request for verification.
- Ask for a copy of the degree or enrollment records.
Majority of international educational intuitions will require a copy of the degree or transcripts before they attempt to verify the degree. This is a result of poor record keeping, but it also aides in determining fraudulent educational activity. This practice can also be done for domestic verification’s, especially if further researches needs to be done for enrollment verification. Although these fake institutions do a masterful job in trying to make these paper degrees seem legitimate, the truth is they are not worth the paper they are printed on. Here is a sample of a fake degree: