Diploma Mill Bust Reveals Cases of Resume Fraud
August 5, 2008
Yesterday, we posted a story from the Chicago Tribune about a Diploma Mill bust where the fake university sold at least 9,600 bogus diplomas. We could assume from that story that these fake diplomas were used by the purchasers to obtain employment in positions they would be otherwise unqualified for.
Today, the Tribune is reporting some specific examples of how the fake degrees were used and the resulting ramifications. The group includes a group of five Berwyn (Chicago Suburb) police officers and a Chicago Public Schools (CPS) instrcutor, who were able to use the degrees to get increased compensation.
The Tribune reports: “The Junior ROTC instructor for CPS, now on leave for an unrelated matter, received a raise from the school district in 2003 based on a PhD and master’s degree allegedly bought from diploma mills affiliated with the fictional “St. Regis University.” The police officers received their degrees from the same scheme in 2001-02, and at least some of them allegedly benefited financially, according to a city official.
Employers must be vigilant and perform proper background checks on all candidates which includes an Education Verification when a degree is required for a position or will qualify them for greater compensation and, or benefits.
I found a great resource for employers to learn about diploma mills on eLearners.com entitled Diploma Mills: How to Identify and Avoid Fake Online Degrees.