Ugandan University Unknowingly Certifies Fake Transcripts

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The Daily Monitor, a Ugandan newspaper, has exposed a con taking place at the country’s largest and oldest university.  Makerere University has become the target of a degree fraud scam most likely perpetrated by members of its own staff and a contractor hired to speed up the degree issuance process.  The newspaper was able obtain a fake transcript from the university and then receive verification from the Academic Registrar that the transcript was genuine.

This is a trend that I think will definitely increase over the next few years and criminals get smarter and technology becomes more advanced.  Schools should conduct background checks on employees that will have access to confidential student information and important tasks such as issuing degrees and awarding financial aid.  There are numerous opportunities to commit fraud in these areas.  Schools need to recognize this and protect themselves as much as possible.

In addition, employers should always conduct education verifications on prospective employees whose position requires a certain level of education and/or a primary course of study.  There is no question that fake degrees are being sold worldwide.  The question is:  Who’s buying?  Could it be your applicant?

Makerere certifies fake transcripts

By Edwin Nuwagaba – October 27, 2008

Kampala

A criminal gang in Kampala is selling fake degree transcripts from Makerere University at Shs250,000, a Daily Monitor investigation can reveal.

While the trade in fake transcripts has been going on for many months, the forgery has become so sophisticated that the university cannot distinguish the fake transcripts they issue from genuine ones.

Following earlier reports of its transcripts being forged, Makerere set up an office earlier in the year to help employers vet documents submitted by prospective employees. However, the racket, which has contacts within the university, issues ‘fool-proof’ transcripts that the office cannot identify as being forged, leaving thousands of employers vulnerable to applicants getting jobs for which they are not qualified.

In an effort to expose the loopholes in the verification process, Daily Monitor paid a racket member Shs250,000 for a fake transcript which came with a certified copy. When Daily Monitor submitted the fake transcript to the university for verification, it was certified as a genuine transcript.

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Be sure to check out our Internal Resource for Identifying Known Diploma Mills.  It can be downloaded at http://university.employeescreen.com/white_papers

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