World’s biggest diploma mill brazenly steps it up

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Justin Wells, Apr 18, 2001.

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  1. Justin Wells

    Justin Wells New Member

    For years their phony diplomas only listed phony universities, including such nonexistent institutions as University of San Moritz, Harrington University, University of Palmers Green, University of Devonshire, Brentwick University, Shelbourne University, and, most recently, Glencullen University. But it now appears that what is perhaps the largest-ever diploma mill has discarded restraint and gone into forging diplomas from real, legitimate universities.

    A Bears’ Guide reader has shared with us an email sent to him by a representative from Glencullen University. It says:

    "We provide degrees from variety of universities in Europe. All degrees are legal and verifiable, which means when you show your diploma to your employer when you go for a job interview, he can call us and we will confirm that you have completed the university of your choice, as long as it is on our list. The way this system works is, once you register, you become a correspondence student in other words an exchange student. The list of universities is on the bottom of this e-mail."

    The exact same list, which includes such schools as University of Cambridge and University of London, appears on the Web site of the European Council for Distance & Open Learning, a phony accreditor set up by these same diploma mill operators earlier this year. Read it and weep at http://www.ecdol.org/ecdolnet/ecdolnet.htm.

    The email goes on to claim that “All signatures on the diploma are officially signed by the deal [sic] of the school and by offer [sic] appropriate officials.” One wonders if the typos are deliberately placed for legal wrangling should the need arise. This is an operation that pays attention to technicalities and is careful to cover their bases. Last year, when John Bear pretended to be a prospective client, they mumbled to him on the phone, in kind of a verbal equivalent of fine print, that they are a diploma mill. When John asked whoever was on the other line to repeat that, the person rephrased without mentioning “diploma mill” again. No doubt the message was recorded.

    Forging diplomas from real, prestigious universities seems uncharacteristically reckless for this mill. Perhaps the $2 million per month they have reportedly been squirreling into a bank in Cyprus is simply not enough. I can only hope that the audacity of their latest endeavor attracts more attention to the operation, and makes it easier for authorities to do something about it.

    For those unfamiliar with the background on this mill, I include the listing from the latest edition of Bears’ Guide:

    "University of San Moritz
    This phony, also known as Harrington University, University of Palmers Green, University of Devonshire, Brentwick University, Shelbourne University, and Glencullen University, may be the biggest degree mill operation ever, with reported revenues in the range of $2 million a month. In 1998, these nonexistent "schools" began sending unsolicited email messages saying "UNIVERSITY DIPLOMAS. Obtain a prosperous future, money earning power, and the admiration of all. Diplomas from prestigious non-accredited universities based on your present knowledge and life experience." They seem to operate only by Internet, where an insider reports they are sending out more than one million “spam” messages a week. People who phone (the area codes have been in New York City, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Texas) and leave a message are called back, and offered the opportunity to purchase the degrees of their choice, at prices between $600 and $3,500. The mailing address is a secretarial service in England. Customers are told to wire their payment by Western Union, and it ends up in a bank in Limassol, Cyprus. A former employee reports that diplomas are printed in Jerusalem, and shipped by overnight service to America and elsewhere. In addition to the fake diplomas, customers can buy transcripts, showing grades of their choice. In the beginning, they eschewed mention of accreditation, but now claim “academic recognition” from the European Council for Distance & Open Learning. Not surprisingly, we can find no trace of this accreditor’s existence other than its own Web site."

    Justin Wells
    Bears' Guide editor
     
  2. George Brown

    George Brown New Member

    Thanks for the update on this Justin. Well, they really have hit rock bottom here - obviously too greedy for their own good. I suggest this e-mail is forwarded to the UK DES and also to the 'Baroness', who vehemently denies there are any diploma mills in the UK - YEAH, LIKE FUN THERE AREN'T!!!

    Cheers,

    George

    ------------------
    Virtual Universities of Australasia & the World
    www.virtualuniversities.net
    [email protected]
     
  3. jnate

    jnate New Member

  4. porky_pig_jr

    porky_pig_jr New Member

    Oh, I see, his particular flavor of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) is getting the degrees from phony schools.

    That's all, folks.
     
  5. bgossett

    bgossett New Member

    A much less significant mill-like operation, http://www.advancedu.org , has a related scam going, in which they sell degrees with the names of defunct colleges and universities printed on them. They maintain an extensive list of schools fitting this description at http://www.advancedu.org/recently_closed.htm

    With the option to backdate your diploma, this clever little fraud may actually offer a more viable bogus credential if one were to select a recently closed school that was known locally.

    ------------------
    Bill Gossett
     
  6. Frangop

    Frangop New Member

    . . . . The evolution of the diploma-mill continuous . . . . .
     
  7. phoneydegrees

    phoneydegrees New Member

    With all due respect, Mr. Wells, this story requires an update because it is extremely outdated.

    There is no doubt that at this time, the world's biggest largest diploma mill is the Organization for Global Learning Education. This massive diploma mill scam operating from Karachi Pakistan runs over 18 (and counting) diploma mills. According to Worlds Largest Diploma Mill Scam Uncovered. this operation makes nearly $6 million a month – an operation three times larger than the one listed in your article.

    So far we know of the following universities that are part of the scam:

    Ashwood University
    Belford University
    Corllins University
    Cambell State University
    Headway University
    Hill University
    Lorenz University
    McFord University
    Must University
    Northern Port University
    OLWA University
    Panworld University
    Rochville University
    Western Advanced Central University
    Western Valley Central University
    Wilson State University
    Woodfield University

    All these fake diploma mill scam's belong to one company – and there is not even a mention of it on your website. I hope that somebody investigates this company and shuts them down quickly.



     

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