Western Washington State University

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by John Bear, Mar 3, 2001.

  1. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    We haven't had a full-fledged blatant new phony school for weeks, it seems. Comes now Western Washington State University (http://www.wwsu.edu/), the pride of (it seems) Norcross, Georgia. Fake accreditation, fairly well done website, the "edu" suffix, the whole bit. I don't see anything to link it with any of the other current phonies.

    John Bear
  2. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I expect that the legal department at the entirely legitimate Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington (a state university) won't be pleased with this.

    Could this have any relationship with Hawaii's "Northern Washington University"?

    Somebody out there is exploiting the names of Washington State's lesser known state universities. These are Western Washington University, Central Washington University and Eastern Washington University. There is no Northern Washington University, nor do any of them have the word "state" in their names.
  3. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Well, so far, I've determined the following:

    1. Both of their phone numbers are a free (well, OK, $4/month) UReach.com numbers. They ring into UReach's switch in New Jersey, not into Georgia or Washington. If we wanted to cause them problems, everyone reading this post could call and leave a 5 or more minute message on their toll free (877-569-0353), and run them out of whatever time allocation (at 8 cents/minute) they have signed up for.

    2. The site wasn't registered until October of last year. The registered owner is Amir Islam, whose phone number is 678-357-6689.

    3. I will wager that the Twin Springs Trail address is Amir's home... there are no businesses at all on Twin Springs Trail, and the nearest commercial buildings are about a quarter mile away.

    The *least* the guy could have done is rented a Mailboxes Etc location in Washington. He's not even a good scam artist.
  4. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Uh oh.

    In doing some more digging, I notice that Western Washington is apparently associated with the Association for Online Academic Excellence (AOAEX). If I remember right, this is one of either Capitol or Trinity's bogus accreditors.

    They also claim to be accredited by the United States Association of Universities &
    Colleges (USAUC). That one rings a bell, but I can't place it. Undoubtedly another fraud.

    And their lovely sample diploma can be viewed on their FAQ page.
  5. bgossett

    bgossett New Member

    Aoaex.org is U.S. Trinity's fake accrediting agency, and Western Washington St. Univ. is indeed listed, with the page having been last updated on Feb. 14th.

    Capitol's bogus accrediting agency is DGAA.

    Bill Gossett
  6. I had thought there was going to be some stricter oversight of .edu domain names.

    I noticed that WWSU's name servers are at READYHOSTING.COM -- so I checked out http://www.readyhosting.com/ It's a web hosting company with fairly reasonable plans. I started their signup, and was told that SCAM.EDU was available. However, Readyhosting's FAQ says that new domains are registered through DomainPeople.com -- and DomainPeople.com says it sells com, .net, .org, and .ca domain names; no mention of .edu.

    I've gone around and around Network Solutions' website and found only:
    I can't find any info on how one would actually register a .edu domain.

    Kristin Evenson Hirst
    [email protected]
  7. Michael Lloyd

    Michael Lloyd New Member

    Speaking as a Seattle resident, 75 minutes south of the gracious WWU campus in Bellingham, I am aghast at the number of recent mills playing off our schools in Washington state. Out of a sense of wounded and recently-earthquaked pride, I e-mailed the newest degree mill page to the Consumer Affairs division of our Attorney General's office in Olympia. However, seeing as most of the state capital is working out of doors, it may be a while before I hear from them.


    Michael Lloyd
  8. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Thank you for alerting the folks in Olympia. The "Washington" name has been used by phonies for many years, but only recently have they specifically linked it to the state of Washington, as in U of Northern Washington and this new one. Years ago, when a blatant phony was claiming to be Washingtonian (Pacific Northwestern University), the state took very prompt action. That particular phony turned out to be run by the registrar of a regionally accredited university.

    John Bear
  9. speedoflight

    speedoflight New Member

    I tried going to their web site and it's not popping up. http://www.wwsu.edu/ is the url I typed in.
  10. I tried it this morning also (March 7 2001 at 7:30 central) and got HTTP Error 403 - Forbidden

    Interesting development.

    Kristin Evenson Hirst
    [email protected]
  11. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    According to Joe St. Hilaire, registrar of the real Western Washington University, he had their General Counsel send a cease and desist order to the fake Western Washington State University and they voluntarily agreed to shut down, which they have now done.

    Based on other cases, though, I would guess we haven't heard the last of this chap from Georgia, so let's stay alert.

    John Bear
  12. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I'm impressed! This has to be the fastest, most effective action taken against a degree mill that I have ever seen.

    I still suspect that Mr. "Amir Islam" is also the proprietor of Northern Washington University, whose Hawaii presence is probably just a mail forwarding service. Perhaps this new attempt was his fall-back position in case Hawaii throws him out under its new law. In which case, he'll just fire up a new one with a different name.

    It will probably be a Washington connection... "Southern Washington University" seems like a winner. That's my bet on what its name will be.
  13. ropark

    ropark New Member

    Western Washington "State" University is now

    Western Washington "International" University!!

    What a quick change..
  14. Ah, the joy of global search and replace.

    I see no references to accreditation, except for this in the FAQ:

    "And Above all, our degrees are accredited through various prestigious organization in the United States."

    Kristin Evenson Hirst
  15. Candice

    Candice New Member

    Sounds suspiciously like 'all your base are belong to us' !
  16. Tony Schroeder

    Tony Schroeder New Member

    With any luck, the authorities in Washington will "Zig! For Great Justice!"


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