Identifying Fake Degree Certificates

The prevalence of fake degree certificates is rising, facilitated by so-called "Diploma Mills" that sell counterfeit credentials. This global issue complicates the task for employers responsible for verifying the authenticity of qualifications. Under the Fraud Act 2006, utilizing a fake degree certificate as a genuine document is illegal and could result in up to ten years of imprisonment. Despite this, about 80% of companies do not check the qualifications of their employees. Are you among them? To ensure safety and compliance, here are essential tips for identifying fake degree certificates.

2/13/20241 min read

Identifying Fake Degree Certificates
Identifying Fake Degree Certificates

Examine the Design

One of the primary steps in spotting a counterfeit degree is to carefully examine its design. Authentic degrees usually feature embossing and a gold seal. When held up to light, a hologram watermark should be visible, signifying its authenticity. Additionally, genuine certificates have signatures written in ink, not printed, and are free from spelling errors. These details are crucial in distinguishing a legitimate degree from a fake one.

Scrutinize the Language

The language and terminology used on the certificate can also offer clues. For instance, the use of Latin terms can be a red flag. While expressions like "cum laude" are common in U.S. universities, UK institutions prefer "with honours," and have not issued Latin certificates in over a decade. Moreover, the correct naming convention of universities, such as "The University of Liverpool" instead of " Liverpool University," should be adhered to. These subtle linguistic cues can help identify discrepancies indicative of a fake.

Verify University Location and Domains

Another effective method to spot fake degrees is to verify the university's location and domain. A quick Google search can help confirm if the address provided matches that of a legitimate institution. Additionally, examining the university's domain can provide insights; genuine university websites have domains that appear professional and credible. If the domain looks suspicious or does not resemble that of a typical university website, it is likely a sign of a counterfeit degree.

Employers must be vigilant in their verification processes to combat the issue of fake degrees. By paying close attention to the design, language, and institutional details on a certificate, it is possible to differentiate between genuine qualifications and fraudulent documents. Ensuring the authenticity of qualifications is not only a legal obligation but also a critical step in maintaining the integrity of the workforce.