Counterfeiting and misuse of Qualification Certificates and Badges is common and impossible to avoid in the current education and commercial training ecosystem.

Apart from legitimately graduating from a university, one can either buy a real certificate from a fake university or a fake certificate from a real university. They are both easy to get on the web, and they are obviously both considered as illegitimate and fraudulent.

Check these examples:

Counterfeit certificates and fake qualifications is a growing issue internationally. Research from Dr George Brown, Academic director of the Think: Education Group, who helped draft a UNESCO statement discouraging university degree mills, estimates that worldwide, close to 30% of senior executives have presented qualifications they did not hold.

A few examples of this pervasive practice are shown below:

  • David Tovar, former VP of corporate communications for Wal-Mart. In 2014 resigned from Wal-Mart because he lied about his Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Sarah Baldwin, former chairman of the US Olympic Committee resigned in 2002 after admitting that she lied about the University she attended and that she never received a PhD. https://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/17/business/17tovar.html
  • Alison Ryan, former head of Communications for Manchester United. In 2007 she was fired because she lied about receiving a first-class honors degree instead of second-class honors degree from Cambridge University. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/8339268/What-not-to-put-on-your-CV-five-famous-lies.html?image=2
  • Marilee Jones, former Dean of Admissions at MIT. She had been with MIT for 28 years before the university realized that she never received the undergraduate or master’s degrees that she said she had on her résumé. In fact, Jones never received any college degrees. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/27/us/27mit.html
  • Patrick Imbardelli, former head of operations at Intercontinental Hotels, Asia-Pacific. In 2007 he left after it was discovered that on his CV, he claimed to have graduated from Victoria University in Australia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business studies and hotel management, and a Bachelor of Science and MBA from Cornell University. Though he attended classes at both colleges, he never graduated. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2007/jun/15/frontpagenews
  • The King Juan Carlos University suspended Enrique Álvarez Conde, director of the school’s Public Law Institute. The department allegedly awarded master’s degrees to two Popular Party (PP) politicians without them completing the work. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43757895