The International New York Times recently published a story following a long investigation into an alleged network of diploma mills and bogus websites controlled by Pakistani software company Axact.
I’d recommend it as an Diploma Mills 101 course in how to scam the world.
This is degree fraud on a global scale with 370 websites cited by the New York Times as being part of the operation and individuals being duped out of multi-millions of dollars and pounds by unscrupulous and clever operators.
Until now the company has been able to hide and slide away from prosecution using fall guys to take the rap. But at last it seems they have run out of lives.
Axact’s CEO Shoaib Sheikh and his deputy Waqas Atiq, were taken into custody after a raid at their Karachi office last week. Officials said hundreds of thousands of blank degree forms, student cards and authentication documents were found.
We will follow the story with interest. if you want to know more about the alleged fake universities there’s a list here. Most have American- or British-sounding names and the sites have convincing testimonials and videos from smiling academics, students and alumni. The universities are endorsed by equally fake accreditation bodies and verification services to back up their fake credentials and fool employers.
Jo Johnson, UK Minister for Universities and Science announced this week that we here at Prospects have been commissioned to proactively seek out bogus providers and shut them down. Watch this space to see us going all Liam Neeson over the next few months.