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How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Forged Diploma?

Graduation Ceremony (Photo: MaxPixel)
Graduation Ceremony (Photo: MaxPixel)

In recent years, the selling of forged diplomas has become a massive and growing worldwide operation. The problem exists almost in any country including the U.K., the U.S. and countries in the Middle East.

How much does it cost to buy a fake education certificate? Well, according to recent cases and investigations, the price varies from $20 to $50,000. It depends on the country, institution, and type of education. Naturally, this creates an issue where people buy certifications without ever acquiring any knowledge in the supposed field of study.

Concerns Regarding Forged Education Documents

The main concern is the increase in the number of employees practicing in spheres they know nothing about, and people without proper knowledge get the job. According to an investigation by BBC Radio 4, in 2013 and 2014 alone, one of the diploma mills, Axact, sold 3,000 fake degrees to the citizens of the U.K.

The same issue appeared in the U.S. where in 2014 the FTC shut down a high-school diploma scam that had been operating since 2006 and brought $11 million to its owner. The site offered one online test to prove one’s knowledge and provided a fake certification for $200-300. It is uncertain how many people were scammed and how many knew about the fraud. The reason to buy such certifications is simple: high-school certification can, as any education certification can, hugely increase the salary of an employee.

According to NOKUT, there are several types of documents that can be considered a fraud:

  • Authentic documents that have been altered;

  • Documents with incorrect information;

  • Documents issued by a non-accredited educational institution;

  • Diploma mills, documents provided for money with no testing.

Issuing fake certificates is a fraud and a criminal offense. Moreover, candidates that provide such documents when applying for a job can be legally prosecuted.

Another issue is that many employers do not check the candidates’ credentials. Even the establishment of such committees as the U.K.’s Hedd in different countries doesn’t guarantee a 100% validation rate. For example, Hedd validates U.K. university candidates but makes no conclusion regarding foreign diplomas. There is a need for an international database of accredited academic institutions.

The popularity of online courses and e-learning is another factor that leads to the success of scams online. People that want to acquire knowledge can accidentally enter into a scam without realizing it. Apparently, it is not very hard to figure out how to make a fake diploma. Some of the criminals even create fake educational accreditation institutions to make their fraud look more legitimate.

However, there is cheating in a form other than a fraudulent document. People misrepresent their knowledge when accepting positions their skills don’t fit into. This is the hardest issue to deal with, and it causes panic in the UK. Administrators and financial platforms began a crackdown on so-called “essay mills.”

Broad penalties often hurt innocent services and have a negative effect on the market. Obviously, there are firms that cater to cheating students, but it is not true of all editing services. Some platforms offer proofreading and fact-checking. Yet, even, a legitimate academic writer service may fall victim to mass penalties.

Needless to say, academic fraud discredits those who actually studied in college and went through essays, dissertations, and exams. After all, education is about students learning particular skills and practicing them, not just about making a higher salary.


How to earn a diploma without breaking the law? There is only one answer – earn it the traditional way. It is important to investigate online courses before participating in them and making the payments. Often, a simple search is enough to see whether the service is shady. However, as long as there are people wanting to get a fake high school diploma effort free, there will be frauds. It is crucial to stay away from them and earn a degree in a fair way.

Michelle Brooks

Michelle Brooks loves to read, write, listen to music and use words to persuade people. She has worked her way towards being the team leader of content managers. She uses words as weapons, so keep an eye out for her powerful articles.

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