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  1. #1
    John Bear is offline Senior Member
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    Post Approach from "Deep Throat" at major degree mill

    Here's an intriguing dilemma. I have received what almost certainly is an authentic "Deep Throat" communication from a former employee of the "University of San Moritz" (and 7 or 8 other names) fraud -- which clearly is an immense multimillion dollar operation, with addresses in England, telemarketing in Romania, printing in Israel, and banking in Cyprus. Revenues in the millions each month.

    This correspondent says that he is ready to tell all--to reveal the name and whereabouts of the owner, details of the bank accounts, and much more. And all he wants in return is US$20,000.

    I checked with FBI contacts, who said, candidly, that there might have been a time, but in the bin Laden-Anthrax world, there is simply no budget for something like this.

    Now what? Truly, I have no idea. I believe that reputable media do not pay for this sort of information. It seems a shame to let this (possible) opportunity fade away.

    Any thoughts?
    Author/co-author: 15 editions of Bears Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning (10 Speed Press/Random House)
    Degree Mills: the billion-dollar industry that has sold more than a million fake diplomas (Prometheus Books)
    Finding Money for College, and 20+ other books on consumerism, cooking, computers, and bestsellers.
    B.A., M.J., University of California Berkeley; Ph.D. Michigan State University

  2. #2
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    If this opportunity is lost, that will, of course, be unfortunate. My own, perhaps lame, suggestion is that some reasonably worthy media outlets do pay for their stories. While you or I or we may not usually think of them as the "reputable media," there has been a lot of serious journalistic interest in recent years in the reporting done by the National Enquirer. On a lower level, there are the English tabloids. And don't the television tabloids pay as well? Any publication of this kind of information is worthwhile, and can then lead to further research, perhaps even by the more vaunted media outlets.

    The amount seems low compared to what tabloid journalists often pay, but of course this doesn't concern John-John Kennedy or whomever. To justify even this amount, one would have to put some sort of "spin" on the story. I think that could be done. I imagine English journalists would love to hear about a story that would reveal a vast nest of corruption leading to, say, politicians, organized crime, or a bloated ringleader quaffing cocktails while sailing on his yacht off the Amalfi coast.

  3. #3
    Bill Highsmith is offline Registered User
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    Post

    How about GMA?

  4. #4
    PSalmon is offline Registered User
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    Post

    Originally posted by Bill Highsmith:
    How about GMA?
    I didn't know what "GMA" was, so I did a Google search. The top hit: Grocery Manufacturers of America. Makes as much sense as most things in my life. Good Morning America was well down in the list, so I presume that can't be it.


  5. #5
    Bill Highsmith is offline Registered User
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    Originally posted by PSalmon:
    Originally posted by Bill Highsmith:
    How about GMA?
    I didn't know what "GMA" was, so I did a Google search. The top hit: Grocery Manufacturers of America. Makes as much sense as most things in my life. Good Morning America was well down in the list, so I presume that can't be it.

    You're right; it was Grocery Manufacturers of America.

  6. #6
    Bill Highsmith is offline Registered User
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    Originally posted by PSalmon:
    Originally posted by Bill Highsmith:
    How about GMA?
    I didn't know what "GMA" was, so I did a Google search. The top hit: Grocery Manufacturers of America. Makes as much sense as most things in my life. Good Morning America was well down in the list, so I presume that can't be it.

    GMA (Good Morning America) has considerable history here, especially for Dr. Bear:
    http://www.degreeinfo.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000121.html
    http://www.degreeinfo.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000142.html
    http://www.degreeinfo.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000148.html
    http://www.degreeinfo.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/000378.html



  7. #7
    Peter French is offline member
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    Post

    Originally posted by John Bear:
    Here's an intriguing dilemma. I have received what almost certainly is an authentic "Deep Throat" communication from a former employee of the "University of San Moritz" (and 7 or 8 other names) fraud -- which clearly is an immense multimillion dollar operation, with addresses in England, telemarketing in Romania, printing in Israel, and banking in Cyprus. Revenues in the millions each month.

    This correspondent says that he is ready to tell all--to reveal the name and whereabouts of the owner, details of the bank accounts, and much more. And all he wants in return is US$20,000.

    I checked with FBI contacts, who said, candidly, that there might have been a time, but in the bin Laden-Anthrax world, there is simply no budget for something like this.

    Now what? Truly, I have no idea. I believe that reputable media do not pay for this sort of information. It seems a shame to let this (possible) opportunity fade away.

    Any thoughts?
    OK

    I'll broker a deal, and let us all shut the f*** up about it. Members as of now will share, all messages will be deleted from the archives, and we'll roll, boys.

    Might need to keep it operating for a bit, and then we can do a blackmail on the users once we get a couple of dozen high rankers in the net.

    The other option is to get the informer to back a 'sting' - I'll run it out of the Cook Islands or Gibraltar, and then when hwe have feathered our nests we'll dump on the whole lot of them.

    Otherwise, if we can't beat them, let us join them. Who cares about education anyway? Education is only to get a buck, sdo lets push the RA like hell on the one hand, and sneak in the back way on the other with the racket.

    Peter French
    Educationus Corruptus Ltd
    St Hellier.


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  9. #8
    Nosborne is offline Registered User
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    Thumbs down

    Run. Run fast.
    I spend my professional life defending very competent, very plausible con artists and this has all the right indicia. My professional "bullshit meter" is reading in the danger zone.
    The "source" either told lies for a living when he worked for the degree mill, or he's lying now when he says he'll "Tell all" for a mere $2Ok. Either way, it smells very bad to me.
    $2Ok is a drop in the bucket to a mill operator. If he's for real, he doesn't NEED your money. If he's NOT for real, which is what I STRONGLY suspect, he's out to cheat you.
    Finally, if he's ratting on the mill for personal revenge, he'd likely feed you the information for free.
    Nosborne

  10. #9
    Peter French is offline member
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    Post

    Originally posted by Nosborne:
    Run. Run fast.
    I spend my professional life defending very competent, very plausible con artists and this has all the right indicia. My professional "bullshit meter" is reading in the danger zone.
    The "source" either told lies for a living when he worked for the degree mill, or he's lying now when he says he'll "Tell all" for a mere $2Ok. Either way, it smells very bad to me.
    $2Ok is a drop in the bucket to a mill operator. If he's for real, he doesn't NEED your money. If he's NOT for real, which is what I STRONGLY suspect, he's out to cheat you.
    Finally, if he's ratting on the mill for personal revenge, he'd likely feed you the information for free.
    Nosborne
    Don't get upset counsellor - you'll get you share of the grab, and I'll do the fiscal-tax and you can do the other legals. I'll have a man on site in the hour, and we'll get this bloke, and do a little debriefing, take him to hospital to get patched up, and then get really serious with him. he is a 'dog' anyway, so is dispensible. Nothing like a bit of collateral damage to get the heart pumping :-)

    But then, why not join them? What better front than to bitch here about degree mills,and at the same time run a real dollar take outfit?

    Peter French

  11. #10
    Bruce is offline Moderator
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    Post

    Originally posted by Nosborne:
    $2Ok is a drop in the bucket to a mill operator. If he's for real, he doesn't NEED your money. If he's NOT for real, which is what I STRONGLY suspect, he's out to cheat you.
    $20K may be a drop in the bucket to a mill operator, but it sounds like this person was an employee....someone to whom $20K is a lot of money.

    In any case, every reward offered in a law enforcement operation is contingent on the information being validated, usually by arrest & conviction. If the info is bogus, no money is paid out. It's as risk-free as you can practically get with such things.


    Bruce

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  12. #11
    John Piquet is offline Registered User
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    Talking

    I would suggest placing the money in an escrow account, and with a proper legal contract between you and the informant, upon validation of the information, the money would be transferred into the informant's account.

  13. #12
    Rich Douglas is offline Registered User
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    Post

    Originally posted by John Bear:
    Here's an intriguing dilemma. I have received what almost certainly is an authentic "Deep Throat" communication from a former employee of the "University of San Moritz" (and 7 or 8 other names) fraud -- which clearly is an immense multimillion dollar operation, with addresses in England, telemarketing in Romania, printing in Israel, and banking in Cyprus. Revenues in the millions each month.

    This correspondent says that he is ready to tell all--to reveal the name and whereabouts of the owner, details of the bank accounts, and much more. And all he wants in return is US$20,000.

    I checked with FBI contacts, who said, candidly, that there might have been a time, but in the bin Laden-Anthrax world, there is simply no budget for something like this.

    Now what? Truly, I have no idea. I believe that reputable media do not pay for this sort of information. It seems a shame to let this (possible) opportunity fade away.

    Any thoughts?
    Wouldn't it be reasonable for this person to write/tell his/her story, then try to sell it?

    Rich Douglas

  14. #13
    David Yamada is offline Registered User
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    Post

    Originally posted by Nosborne:
    Run. Run fast.
    I spend my professional life defending very competent, very plausible con artists and this has all the right indicia. My professional "bullshit meter" is reading in the danger zone.
    The "source" either told lies for a living when he worked for the degree mill, or he's lying now when he says he'll "Tell all" for a mere $2Ok. Either way, it smells very bad to me.
    $2Ok is a drop in the bucket to a mill operator. If he's for real, he doesn't NEED your money. If he's NOT for real, which is what I STRONGLY suspect, he's out to cheat you.
    Finally, if he's ratting on the mill for personal revenge, he'd likely feed you the information for free.
    Nosborne
    Bingo!
    David Yamada, dyamada@acad.suffolk.edu

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