7 Ways To Spot An Education Scam
<p><a href="https://blog.trueprofile.io/not-get-scammed-diploma-mill/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Diploma mills</a> are fake universities that offer illegitimate academic credentials for a fee. To appear legitimate, these diploma mills contract accreditation mills (unlawful organizations that help diploma mills appear legitimate). Some institutions may offer unaccredited programs despite being recognized institutions. However, diploma mills are unaccredited and offer fake certifications that can ruin an individual’s reputation and employment prospects. They are also known as an education scam and should be avoided at all costs.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Some diploma mills are upfront in terms of telling you that they sell illegal credentials. However, others pretend to be legitimate and waste your time and resources. In this blog, we discuss <strong>7 different ways to spot a diploma mill or an education scam</strong> from afar.</p> <h2>1. Check the University’s Requirements&nbsp;</h2> <p>A fake university is more likely to have strange and sometimes unrealistic expectations. For example, they may have very low admission requirements that do not match the accepted standards for the course you are applying to. Therefore, you should be wary of any educational institution that offers admission regardless of your previous <a href="https://blog.trueprofile.io/mytrueprofile-digital-cv-highlight-your-education/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">education</a> and results.&nbsp;</p> <p>Other diploma mills require an upfront tuition fee before a successful admission. These fake universities often make tall promises about their programs and where they can lead you post-graduation. In most cases, programs in these universities last a few weeks or months and claim accreditation from accreditation bodies that are not recognized by the official ministry or department of education.&nbsp;</p> <h2>2. You earn a Degree Based on Life Experience</h2> <p>While life experience can be an important teaching tool, it cannot be the basis of a degree program that prepares you for a career. While a university may offer a few credits based on your life experience, they do not award an entire degree based on the same.</p> <p>You must go through a specified period of learning and examination before an accredited institution can award a degree. Diploma mills focus solely on your life experience and job skills and often prey on people looking for a better life overseas.&nbsp;</p> <h2>3. No Coursework in Theory</h2> <p>In theory, it may sound like an easy win to obtain a degree without covering any coursework, completing assignments, or submitting a thesis. However, in a healthcare scenario, no patient will want to engage with an unqualified healthcare worker who obtained their degree from a diploma mill without completing coursework and skills training.&nbsp;</p> <p>Employers will not even engage with candidates whose CV only contains life experience or other questionable metrics. Legitimate and verified candidates will take priority for roles. Candidates submitting resumés with false information are likely to be blacklisted and reported and could face serious consequences. </p> <h2>4. A Name Similar to a Reputable Institution</h2> <p>Like scammers, diploma mills seek to exploit unsuspecting students by using names that could pass from reputable universities. For example, a fake university may call itself Columbus University to confuse students looking for Columbus State University. Some examples of diploma mills that use names closer to legitimate universities include:</p> <ul><li>James Monroe University and Madison University (fake) which name themselves after the respected university James Madison University</li><li>Hamilton University (fake) has a similar name to Hamilton College, a New York-based four-year college.&nbsp;</li><li>Columbus University (fake) names similarly to Columbus State University&nbsp;</li></ul> <p></p> <p>Here is a list of notorious <a href="https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unaccredited_institutions_of_higher_education">diploma mills</a> to avoid.</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="512" height="284" src="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2021/11/unnamed-1-1.jpg" alt="scam alert" class="wp-image-12948" srcset="https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2021/11/unnamed-1-1.jpg 512w, https://production-prod-trueprofile-blogassets-origin.s3.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/uploads/2021/11/unnamed-1-1-300x166.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 512px) 100vw, 512px" /><figcaption>scam alert</figcaption></figure> <h2>5.&nbsp;Flat Fees for their Programs</h2> <p>If you browse through a legitimate university, you will realize that different programs have different fees even within the same faculties. In some cases, the fees are higher for out-of-state or international students. However, what you won&#8217;t find is a legitimate university offering the same fee for each program. Since fake universities have nothing to lose in terms of their reputation, their goal is to make money from gullible students who fall for their marketing tactics.</p> <h2>6. Aggressive Marketing Tactics&nbsp;</h2> <p>Most diploma mills actively seek out students, especially those straight from high schools. They will bombard you with calls, spam emails, and other intrusive tactics they can use to get your attention. You may even be bombarded with popup ads from these unaccredited institutions.&nbsp;</p> <h2>7. No Registered Address&nbsp;</h2> <p>If an online university does not have a physical location, you can bet your money that it is a fake university. Even academic institutions that deliver their courses online have corporate offices with a regular mailing address.&nbsp;</p> <p>In addition to lacking a physical location, these fake universities have limited to no contact information and would rather you text than call them.&nbsp;</p> <p>Legitimate universities provide detailed contact information or addresses and offer multiple channels to communicate with them to answer student, alumni, or prospective student inquiries.&nbsp;</p> <h2>3 Tips to Avoid an Education Scam</h2> <p>Diploma mills are costly. For medical professionals, obtaining your <a href="https://blog.trueprofile.io/how-to-verify-your-degree-with-trueprofile-io/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">degree</a> from diploma mills could cost your career and reputation and lead to fines and prosecution.&nbsp;</p> <ol><li><strong>Do your research</strong>. Thorough research is the best way to avoid falling for a diploma mill. During your research, look for accreditation bodies authorized to provide programs to teach and train prospective or current healthcare professionals. Once you know the accreditation organizations, look for accredited programs from reputable websites and institutions. Look for alumni from that school. If you are still unsure about a program, then it&#8217;s best to be safe and look for one you are comfortable with.</li><li><strong>Familiarize</strong> yourself with the requirements for the medical or nursing qualifications you want to obtain. Compare these requirements across various colleges or universities (the conditions are usually similar and relatively uniform).&nbsp;</li><li><strong>Look</strong> at the university’s communication for grammar and spelling mistakes. A legitimate university will pay attention to its communication for accuracy, consistency and to reflect its academic values.&nbsp;</li></ol> <p></p> <h2>Do Not Get Duped by an Education Scam&nbsp;</h2> <p>An education scam can derail your career progress and, in worse cases, lead to lawsuits, especially when working in healthcare settings. Since diploma mills and fake universities have gotten better at their attempts to appear legitimate, conduct thorough research to check whether a program is a diploma mill or an accredited institution.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Find out more about recognising scams.</h4> <div class="wp-block-buttons"> <div class="wp-block-button"><a class="wp-block-button__link has-text-color has-background" href="https://www.trueprofile.io/member/resources/recruitment-scam" style="border-radius:50px;background-color:#00497a;color:#f5f5f5" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Recruitment scam</a></div> <div class="wp-block-button"><a class="wp-block-button__link has-text-color has-background" href="https://www.trueprofile.io/member/resources/how-to-recognize-online-job-scams" style="border-radius:50px;background-color:#00497a;color:#f5f5f5" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Online job scam</a></div> </div> <h4>If you have not already signed up to TrueProfile.io, sign up now!</h4> <div class="wp-block-buttons"> <div class="wp-block-button"><a class="wp-block-button__link has-text-color has-background" href="https://sso.trueprofile.io/register" style="border-radius:50px;background-color:#00497a;color:#f5f5f5" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Sign up</a></div> </div>