Fake Diplomas from Canadian Universities: A Global Problem

Some officials estimate the global market for fake diplomas totals almost $1 billion dollars annually. Most countries, including Canada, have few laws about the selling and/or purchase of fake academic credentials. Hundreds of Internet sites allow customers to buy Ph.D. diplomas, B.S., B.A., M.B.A. or other graduate school or technical school certificates.

People who buy fake degrees come from all socio-economic groups. People who already have University degrees as well as those without buy them. Some justify their purchase on seemingly innocuous grounds. Others acquire fake credentials or educational documents for purposes that are more nefarious.

Reasons People Purchase Fake Diplomas

People buy fake Canadian diplomas for many reasons. Some people merely like the novelty of displaying on his or her wall a degree from University of Toronto or McGill University. They may have no intention of doing anything else with it.

Other people use the diploma to obtain employment. They will falsify their employment applications by using a fake diploma from a prestigious university to enhance their chances of getting the job.

For example, there were sixty-two Canadians recently placed under investigation by the police in South Korea for falsifying degrees so that they could teach English. The South Koreans will likely deport them. Several other nationalities were also involved in this particular scheme.

Many students who seek to study in Canada may buy forged educational diplomas as a way to escape the poverty or repression in their native countries. They may buy a fake preparatory school certificate or private diploma and submit it along with their applications. Once in Canada, many times they seek asylum and/or Canadian citizenship.

How Can I Buy Diploma from a Canadian University?

Conducting an Internet search on buying fake diplomas brings up hundreds of companies offering “authentic” college credentials. The diplomaapplicant merely fills out the template with his or her name, the name of the desired university, dates attended and type of degree. The customer submits payment and within a few days, the company sends the counterfeit diploma.

The sites claim that they use the same embossed paper, with the proper watermarks and on genuine stationery used by thousands of colleges and universities in Canada and the rest of North America. They offer legitimate-appearing seals and the same fonts and even falsified signatures if required.

User reviews rate many of the sites highly. Some of the more popular sites receive, on average, four or five-star ratings.

What will it Cost?

Prices for fake diplomas will vary. The average cost is around $200-$400, but some companies charge over $1000 depending on the company’s pricing model, reputation, and the quality of the product.

Are There Any Degrees Not for Sale?

Many sites will not sell medical or MD, legal or JD, DDS diplomas or anything to do with the medical or legal fields of study. Clients can buy a Ph.D. diploma, an MBA or another graduate certificate for the same price as an undergraduate degree.

Most companies will not print diplomas for other sorts of jobs that may directly involve public service or may require skills that, if not learned, may cause catastrophic results. For example, most Internet sites will not sell fake diplomas from flying or aeronautical institutions, driving schools or anything related to the military.

Do These Companies Ship to Canada?

Many companies that sell these diplomas, to circumvent any local laws, will refuse to ship within the borders of the state or country where they operate. For example, many U.S. companies will mail phony degrees to Canada, but a Canadian corporation will not mail diplomas to any Canadian address.

Since this is such a lucrative business, however, some of the larger Internet companies that supply these products from several different websites.They have separate operations, owned by the same person or persons, in different countries or states.

Most companies have a few other restrictions regarding where they will ship their fake products. The major Internet diploma retailers will not accept orders from Cuba, Nigeria or North Korea. Most companies will not ship to locations or regions in the world due to specific laws regulating the business.

If someone resides anywhere in Canada, however, there are no shipment restrictions imposed by the companies.

Laws against the Sale of Fake Diplomas

The legislation regarding the actual production, sale or purchase of fake diplomas or academic credentials is very weak in Canada and throughout North America.

Sanctions in Canada and elsewhere for using the phony diplomas to obtain jobs or gain entry into a university or a higher degree program tend to be limited. If the employers discover that the diploma is fake, they usually just dismiss the employee. Prosecutions are rare.

Unaccredited Universities

Many companies create fake universities, colleges or other educational institutions and offer diplomas from these non-existing schools for a fee. One such scam that included many Canadians as clients netted the perpetrator over $5 million in a two-year period. The person created a whole slew of different colleges with legitimate-sounding names. He then fabricated and sold fake diplomas attesting to the person’s graduation from the school and his or her degree in whatever subject the buyer had indicated on the order form.

Final Thoughts

Fake degrees from Canadian Universities are not just a problem unique to Canada and Canadian education. The production and sale of fake educational credentials affect almost every country in the world. Pride, the economy, and fierce competition for jobs motivate the buyers. Greed drives the sellers. Countries have little incentive to do anything on a federal level. National governments consider the crimes victimless in a way. It is not worth spending taxpayer dollars on prosecuting the purchasers. In the case of schools or companies, it is just easier to let them handle it.

The retailers hide behind the phrase “novelty” or “entertainment.” Given there is little legislation or no legislation in Canada or elsewhere regulating the business, it likely this lucrative market will remain viable for many years.