'Staggering' trade of diploma mills revealed

BBC Radio 4’s File on Four program investigation found a “staggering” trade in worthless diploma mill degrees from Axact, a Pakistani firm claiming to be the “world’s largest IT company” that operated a network of hundreds of fake online universities.

Buyers include NHS consultants, nurses and a large defense contractor. One British buyer spent almost £500,000 on bogus documents. A consultant in paediatric emergency medicine, who bought a “master of science in health care technology”, claimed it was an “utter surprise” when the BBC told him it was fake.

In 2015, Axact sold more than 215,000 fake qualifications globally, through approximately 350 fictitious high schools and universities, making $51m (£37.5m) that year alone. Following an investigation in 2015 (which we wrote about here), Axact was shut down by Pakistani law enforcement. However, the Pakistani investigation ground to a halt amid claims of government corruption and Axact resumed their fraudulent business of selling fake diplomas.

Action Fraud, the UK’s national cybercrime reporting center, said it did not have the power to close fake Axact websites but instead had to provide evidence to domain registries and registrars, which could take months. The Department for Education said it was taking “decisive action to crack down on degree fraud” that “cheats genuine learners”.

As reported several times on this blog, the diploma mill problem is a significant one. Diploma mill providers that sell worthless degrees without requiring academic achievement make an estimated $200 million annually, according to College Choice. In fact, a 2011 report from Verifile Accredibase suggested a 20% year-over-year growth of mills in the US. That growth doesn’t appear to be stemming.

You May Also Like

Check out these additional posts from Mind Your Business.

FYI FRIDAYS Segment 4

Karen Caruso, Founder/CEO answered a question that many of us have been asked in the last few weeks: What are you looking forward to most in 2021?  I am most looking forward to getting back to some sense of normalcy. I look forward to rebuilding MYB stronger than before. Like many small businesses across the…
Read More

MYB is happy to be apart of Hendersonville’s inaugural Random Acts of Kindness Week

HENDERSONVILLE-The partners behind LoveHendo are happy to announce that the week of February 8th through February 13th will be known as Random Acts of Kindness Week. The initiative will be in support of Hendersonville’s non-profit community. Local Businesses will be able to select a non-profit to support during Random Acts of Kindness week.  The businesses will be…
Read More

3 Ways to Support Women-Owned Businesses

October was National Women’s Small Business month. As a certified women-owned small business, it was important for us to reflect on the inequities that still exist in business.  The pandemic has put a large strain on women-owned businesses and especially minority women-owned businesses.  Now more than ever, it is important for us to look at…
Read More

Quality and Precise Results, On Time!

Let us know about your screening needs to get a custom quote. We work with businesses big and small as well as the government. Which means we have a package of solutions for your organization as well.