Degrees of Deception: 7News Investigates Diploma Mills

It’s a billion-dollar industry, people getting degrees by simply buying them online.

The fake degree scheme has been around for decades, even tracing back to Greenville County in the 1980’s. Retired FBI agent Allen Ezell, who has spent his life tracking down fake degree mills.

The online websites are convincing, offering majors and citing how much money tuition will be. Ezell encourages those shopping for an education online to look deeper, checking credentials for accreditation and history of the university.

Our investigation revealed hundreds in the Upstate and Western North Carolina who had possibly purchased these fake degrees. Many of the people had moved or weren’t home at the addresses we were able to track down. Those we did find denied purchasing the degrees.

Some top ways to detect if the online college is fake is to look at the accreditation, is it from a fake or unrecognized agency?

Also check the advertising and marketing, are there paid search engine placements, banners pop-up ads, and spam?

Make sure you google and search the university name to see what others are saying about their experience.