Online cheats offer degrees in Malaysia
According to a report from local news site The Malaysian Insight, fake degrees from both local and international HEIs can be bought for as little as £2,200.
The investigation reports that several websites can be discovered selling these fakes, accessible through a web search as simple as ‘buy a fake degree’.
“The design of the fakes are virtually indistinguishable from the real deal”
According to reports, the sellers are so confident of their fakes they even profess to have “insiders” at foreign institutions, who can alter institutional records to ensure cheats are not caught by registrar systems.
The report also claims that many parents are willing to pay such fees, as it is much cheaper and easier than studying for legitimate overseas qualifications.
Conversations with an alleged provider of illegal certificates reportedly told Insight the products were for sale across borders, with customers in Singapore requesting transcripts.
The subject areas allegedly available include engineering, mass communications, accounting, business, computer science, and others.
The Malaysian news source said the degrees its reporters saw were of high quality, and even carried the correct signatures.
“Not only are the font, layout and design of the fakes virtually indistinguishable from the real deal, the certificates also bear the signatures of the universities’ vice-chancellors and registrars, and the student’s ‘grade’,” it reported.
Although some of the degree-hawkers operated in Malaysian Ringgits, others demanded payment in US dollars.
For a bachelor’s degree, one source said it would cost $3,500, with 50% paid upfront. For this price, the customer was led to believe they would receive both a digital and a physical certificate.
The only institution named in the piece is the University of Tasmania, in Australia’s most southern state.
Although images of certificates were shared by Insight, The PIE News was unable to independently verify the images provided.