Phony Academic Degrees

In its new report, “Smoke, Mirrors, and Resumes: The Growing Threat of Diploma Mills,” background screening firm EmployeeScreenIQ claims that
phony academic degrees are a “constant presence in email inboxes, and their popularity is exploding with job candidates” and feed on applicants “who will do anything to enhance their resume” in a tough hiring market.

The company tried out a test: it requested a master’s degree in economics for its president and C.O.O., Jason B. Morris. In exchange for $75, they would send a “genuine” diploma. For an extra $75, the diploma mill would verify the degree by phone or email. EmployeeScreenIQ says it received the diploma within seven days; it featured raised seals and was printed on the type of paper one would expect for an academic degree. It had the proper dates and signatures and was ready to be framed.

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For the full list (and it’s extensive, including such prestigious-sounding names as International Theological University – California; Northwest Florida
University; and Northern New England University), either click here to read the school names or download the entire free report at

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.


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