Penn Foster comes up on a search for "diploma mill"

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Dustin, Jan 2, 2022.

  1. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Sometimes, buying ads on a keyword can backfire.

    Attached Files:

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  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Indeed. The next entry on that list is Johnson & Wales Uni (RA). I wonder:

    (1) How many more perfectly good schools are on that list?
    (2) How many horribly bad ones - real mills - don't show up?

    Search engines -and the companies that own them- are a two-edged sword.
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  3. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Welcome back! A few clear fakes show up (several life experience degrees) but other genuine schools are on the list, University of Maryland Global Campus and Southern Utah University.
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  4. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    True to your word:
    Not a day too soon, nor a day too late!

    Welcome back, old friend.:emoji_wave:
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  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Good find, Dustin.

    And I'll bet these bad schools (list follows) don't show up on the Google list. They're all creations of TCurve - the Pakistani company that Axact has morphed into. Remember Axact? The company that created over 300 fraudulent schools? this is "Axact, Part Deux." Same building in Karachi!

    Their specialty nowadays is creating "cybermills" that sound American, and often have US "cover" addresses. After some mis-steps, e.g. a judge who was bribed for 5 million rupees (about $25K) and removed from the bench, many Axact officials were sentenced, but NONE, to date has served his time. TCurve is said to be raking in $2 million a month for its fake degrees. Here are some fairly recent creations:

    University of Costa Field (Detroit MI) Has a page on Zoomvu and a Detroit MI address
    w-w-w-dot-summerlake university-dot-education
    University of BayFord - uobf-dot-education

    I'm thinking this is the tip of the iceberg... or the manure pile, depending on your viewpoint. I'm also guessing a lot of these are still below most radar "pings."

    And... @Maniac Craniac -- thanks. Good to be in touch.
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  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    And Shoaib Mohammed Shaikh, the former CEO of Axact, is now residing in Dubai and his legal team has so far repelled all attempts at extradition.
  7. mbwa shenzi

    mbwa shenzi Active Member

    TCurve for fake schools, Syscrowd for fake mobile apps and Dipdag for used Japanese cars. As for the building, it's DHA, Defence Housing Authority, a real estate company administered by the army. And there's of course the ISI thingy...

    The most recent I'm aware of are Fair Mount University and Haywood University, although the Fair Mount site has been suspended. Both sites registered on 30 September.

    I have a list of more than 500 fake universities and 200 accreditors, plus feeder sites like affordabledegrees.
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  8. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    I am now amused that "life experience" here links to COSC.
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  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Ha! Nice one! But I'm guessing there's a difference. "Life experience" with COSC would translate into a rigorously-prepared and verified "Portfolio of Prior Learning" for which a carefully-calculated amount of academic credit would be awarded.

    With the "fakes" Dustin was mentioning, the main "life experience" qualification is possession of a valid credit card.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    What? No new ones in 3 months? They're slipping! Oh, I get it... they've found another planet somewhere! :)
    I knew you'd be on top of it! You the MAN! Always great to hear from you! :)
  11. Rachel83az

    Rachel83az Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I know the difference. You know the difference. But a lot of random people looking for degrees don't know the difference. That's how degree mills are able to continue operating.
  12. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The term "diploma mill" is tossed around quite loosely, often by people who don't know the first thing about what they're saying.

    That said, there has been (largely through one poster) a lot of patter about this term, along with its companion, "degree mill." So, if WE can't figure it out, I'm not sure lay people can.

    To me, the terms mean the same thing--a business that issues credentials without proper authority and for work not worthy of the credential.

    The distinction one poster liked to make was a diploma mill sold fake degrees while a degree mill was a substandard school. Again, I find that useless in practice.
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  13. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It's any school less prestigious, however slightly, than the ones the person saying it attended.
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  14. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    That's what led me to do this particular search. I was arguing with someone/explaining that Aspen was NOT a diploma mill by definition because it was accredited.

    A poor quality education? Maybe, I haven't attended. But there's no quid pro quo of credit card being charged and degree being mailed.

    I wondered if maybe I was wrong, but the internet definitions seemed to back me up, and match what you've written here.
  15. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It's in the eye of the beholder, certainly. I happen to think your take on the matter is reasonable.

    One previously prominent poster here would say that ALL US schools not accredited by a regional association were degree mills, making a distinction between them and scams that sold fake credentials. I have always thought this inaccurate and actionable. Instead, I would agree with you that recognized accreditation forestalls any application of the "degree mill" label.

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