PETALING JAYA: A quick Internet search revealed just how easy it was to obtain a fake diploma or degree for any course of one’s choosing. Obtained within 24 hours and looking very much like the real deal, the business of fake degrees is one that is booming going by the sheer number of sites advertising their ‘wares’.
According to one senior official at UITM’s academic department, the issue of fake degrees though not new, was one of growing concern.
Confirming that the university had encountered cases of fake degrees in the past, the official said it also put the university’s credibility at stake besides putting employers in a bind.
She said, ”It is the employer that loses out in the end. We have lodged complaints on the matter with the Education Ministry but the culprits behind the illegal trade are hard to find.”
The official said despite security measures like serial numbers and the inclusion of invisible codes, some fake degrees looked authentic enough to convincingly fool employers.
She also recommended that employers call the university for verification should a certificate look suspicious in any way.
Meanwhile a Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) official said the main issue was that unqualified people were taking up jobs rightfully meant for qualified candidates.
Malaysian Employer’s Federation executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said that employers had to be extra wary of those applying for highly skilled jobs.
He explained, ”Employers stand to lose huge amounts in terms of financial resources if unqualified candidates are awarded jobs.
“In some cases these applicants could pose a serious danger to clients and the public at large if their certificates had been bought and not earned academically.”
The issue of fake degrees was highlighted recently in a local daily and called to attention the ease at which these are obtained.
Once at the relevant site, user-friendly steps prompt a potential buyer how to download forms, fill in their particulars and preferences, as well as upload a photo for use for the desired “diploma” or “degree”.
Fake certificates usually cost in the region of RM3,500 as the initial sum followed by an unspecified amount upon receipt of the final document.