Dear Commons Community,
The New York Times has a page-one featured article this morning exposing Axact, a Pakistani Company specializing in issuing fake high school diplomas and college degrees. What makes this story so remarkable is the size and scope of the bogus operation. According to the New York Times report, Axact has created hundreds of virtual schools, colleges, and accreditation agencies that only exist on the Internet that will issue almost any diploma or degree for a price. High school diplomas, undergraduate and graduate degrees including PhD and medical credentials are all available for little or no study. The article makes the point that nothing in this virtual academic realm, appearing to span at least 370 websites, is real — except for the tens of millions of dollars in estimated revenue it gleans each year from many thousands of people around the world, all paid to a Pakistani software company.
The article mentions:
“The heart of Axact’s business, however, is the sales team — young and well-educated Pakistanis, fluent in English or Arabic, who work the phones with customers who have been drawn in by the websites. They offer everything from high school diplomas for about $350, to doctoral degrees for $4,000 and above.”
The extent of the enterprise is incredible:
“Axact’s role in the diploma mill industry was nearly exposed in 2009 when an American woman in Michigan, angry that her online high school diploma had proved useless, sued two Axact-owned websites, Belford High School and Belford University.
The case quickly expanded into a class-action lawsuit with an estimated 30,000 American claimants.”
What a sad state of affairs that there are so many people desperate for an easy way to a degree!