It’s coming up to that time of year when attention turns to caps, gowns, marquees, prosecco and proud families. It’s also time for our annual warning about graduation selfies. Our latest research shows that we can’t say this too often or too loudly.
We’ve put this out today through our press office and it’s being picked up already. Please spread the word. Thank you.
As more than two thirds of students plan to take graduation selfies this year, Prospects Hedd warns that they could be used to produce fake degree certificates
Prospects Hedd, the official system for degree and university authentication in the UK surveyed 1,068 students preparing to graduate this year.
While 69% plan to include their degree certificate on a photo, 24% will video their achievement.
Seventy one per cent of students plan to share their content on social media, with Facebook and Instagram the favoured channels.
Female students were much more likely to want to take a selfie (73%) and share it (74%) than their male equivalents – 58% and 60% respectively.
Sharing images of degree certificates can unwittingly give fraudsters access to the latest logos, crests, signatories, stamps, holograms and wording, fuelling the multi-million pound trade in fake degrees.
The latest designs can be easily copied onto fake certificates and passed off as genuine to unwitting employers.
Seventy four per cent of students were unaware that images of degree certificates can be used to produce fakes and 66% said that this was a concern.
Awareness is twice as high among males; 41% were aware of the risk compared with 20% of women.
‘Don’t give fraudsters the opportunity to copy your degree certificate. You wouldn’t share a picture of your passport or your driving licence. Degree certificates are no different,’ says Jayne Rowley, Chief Executive at Prospects.
‘Degree fraud affects everyone. After investing time and money in a degree, genuine graduates should not be at risk of losing out in the jobs market to a candidate using a fake certificate.’