25 April 2018
Robert Siciliano

Identity Theft Expert

Robert Siciliano - IDTheftSecurity.com

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Diploma Mills Facilitate Identity Theft

17 February 2010  |  3703 views  |  0

Diploma mills were born along with elearning institutions who are actually legitimate and accredited bodies. Degrees and diplomas issued by diploma mills are frequently used for fraudulent purposes, such as obtaining employment, promotions, raises, or bonuses on false pretenses. They can also be used as a form of fake ID when posing as someone else to gain employment, impersonation of a licensed professional or used to assist as a breeder document leading to “real” fake ID’s.

A fake diploma is an effective social engineering tool used to gain access to your corporate networks.

From Wikipedia “A diploma mill (also known as a degree mill) is an organization that awards academic degrees and diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without recognition by official educational accrediting bodies. The purchaser can then claim to hold an academic degree, and the organization is motivated by making a profit. These degrees are often awarded based on vaguely construed life experience. Some such organizations claim accreditation by non-recognized/unapproved accrediting bodies set up for the purposes of providing a veneer of authenticity.”


The diploma mills often model the names or accredited educational institutions. They may even take a portion of a universities name and make it a part of their own. Such modeling tactics involve using similar logos, color schemes, and designing their websites to mimic an Ivy League school, right down to the .edu web address.


Just like a legitimate college or university, diploma mills may actually require the student to purchase books, do homework and take tests.  However, the diploma mill may make it extremely easy for someone to pass. Students in many cases are able simply purchase a diploma no questions asked. Many of these organizations are nothing more than glorified print shops.

As an employer who requires a diploma as official entry to your organization, you must recognize the risks associated with accepting documents that are fake, designed to give the bad guy access to your networks.

Diploma mills and the documents they print can be difficult to detect. However, today, thanks to the Internet, many websites and organizations are publicly “outing” diploma mills.

When hiring and presented with a diploma, search out the name of the educational institution and see what comes up. More effective is to do a search of the name on the diploma then “diploma mill” in quotes. If you begin to see a trend of sites popping up referencing fraud then call your attorney. Someone who is likely to commit fraud of this nature, may cause even more problems when you decline their employment.

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job title Security Analyst
location Boston
member since 2010
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Security analyst, published author, television news correspondent. Deliver presentations throughout the United States, Canada and internationally on identity theft protection and personal security....

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