As qualifications become increasingly important in gaining employment, "diploma mills" (usually online sites that sell degree and diploma certificates) and unaccredited colleges are proliferating around the world. Most use traditional and respectable-sounding names (many of which are very similar to legitimate institutions) and many claim accreditation by bogus accreditation bodies, making the identification of such entities very problematic.

Due to unemployment and increasing educational demands of employment sector, more and more people are inclined towards getting fake degrees to get their desired job. This horrendous issue has created a real threat to education industry, immigration departments and companies who are obliged to select the deserving applicants and to minimize risks for their institutions.

The number of fake universities and diploma and accreditation mills spanning across the world exceed 5000 figure. Within Pakistan above 200 universities and institutes are operating illegally and against the standards prescribed by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC).

Public Alerts by HEC about Unaccredited Institutions

How many fakes? How Dangerous?

The Diploma Mill industry is huge – the following is a list of nearly 10,000 people who have purchased such a document from a SINGLE operator. It was originally released here http://www.spokesmanreview.com/data/diploma-mill/ These fake institutions use aliases or similar names of renowned universities and are not recognized by the education governing bodies. They usually target students from outside these countries who want to improve their job prospects or aim to go overseas with a western degree. Some institutions make it very clear that they offer a fake degree and some hide their status to dupe the students. The bogus degree industry contribute hugely in human trafficking, illegal immigration, forged identities and employment frauds. It reportedly pulls in over 500 million dollars a year and the pot is growing.

Corruption scandal - 300 unaccredited medical colleges in India

A brief intro to Degree Mills and Accreditation Mills by Chea.org

Diploma Mills Adverts on YouTube

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Many diploma mills verify the fake degrees awarded by them via phone or through their websites and emails. They also affiliate with a fake accreditation mill which is often located within their premises. So identifying a bogus degree is a challenging yet time consuming task for employers and governments.


Access our partner database for free to see if an academic institution comes up as a diploma mill or if they are even accredited. Click here to learn more

How RiskDiscovered™ can assist in mitigating this Risk?

RiskDiscovered™ identified hundreds of such documents being used by professionals across all industry sectors in Pakistan specially in health care, engineering, telecom and Oil/Gas. Some examples are attached below:

This is just a tip of the iceberg!

We have countered this challenge and determined a number of identifiers to verify the genuineness of an institution. From our years of in-house research we have created a database that lists hundreds of fake universities and institutions operating illegally within Pakistan and globally.

This database include those institutions that are unaccredited, not chartered by their governments to reward a degree, provide substandard education and do not meet the prescribed criteria and institutions that have been shut down due to fraudulent activity or regulation violation. We scan through the lists of institutions blacklisted by governments or education authorities and update our databases on regular basis.

Before verifying any educational document, we first check the accreditation of the issuing authority in our database, if the institution is new or not included in our database then we conduct a through research on the institution before initiating the verification process. This is our standard operating procedure and we do not charge our clients for this extra effort. A sample of our University Research Report is attached below:

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