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How Background Verification Services Can Help Identify Employees with Fake Degrees

Posted on by Books collection

In today's competitive job market, a degree can make a huge difference when it comes to securing a job or advancing in one's career. Unfortunately, some individuals may resort to obtaining fake degrees in order to boost their resumes and gain an edge over other candidates. This can be particularly problematic for companies, as employees with fake degrees can pose a serious risk to the organization's reputation and integrity. In this article, we'll discuss some of the reasons why people with fake degrees are still employed in different companies around the world and how background verification and education verification services can help in identification of these individuals.

Why Are People with Fake Degrees Still Employed?

One of the main reasons why people with fake degrees are still employed is due to the lack of proper background checks during the hiring process. Many companies may only conduct a basic check of an applicant's resume and references, without verifying the educational qualifications listed. This can make it easier for individuals with fake degrees to slip through the cracks and secure a job. Additionally, some companies may be reluctant to conduct thorough background checks due to the cost and time involved, or because they may not be aware of the potential risks of hiring someone with a fake degree.

Scandals Involving Fake Degrees

There have been numerous scandals involving individuals and companies using fake degrees to gain an unfair advantage. One of the most high-profile examples is the case of a former senior executive at the US Department of Homeland Security who was found to have obtained multiple fake degrees from a diploma mill. This case led to a review of the department's background check policies and highlighted the need for more rigorous verification processes.

Another example is the case of a Pakistani company that was exposed for running a massive online degree mill. This company was found to have created fake websites and accreditation agencies in order to dupe individuals into buying fake degrees, and it's estimated that the company generated tens of millions of dollars in revenue before being shut down by Pakistani authorities in 2015.

In India, a renowned university was found to have sold around 36,000 fake degrees over a period of several years. The case came to light in 2017, when Indian police arrested a man who was selling fake degrees from the University of Mysore. It was later discovered that the university had been involved in the scam and had issued fake degrees to thousands of individuals in exchange for bribes. The scandal led to the resignation of the university's vice chancellor and highlighted the need for stricter regulations in the Indian higher education system.

In China, fake degrees are reportedly widespread, with some estimates suggesting that up to 70% of all job candidates in the country have falsified their educational qualifications in some way. The problem has been fueled by the growth of online degree mills, which offer fake degrees at low cost and with little or no verification required. This has made it easier for individuals to obtain fake degrees and has made it more difficult for employers to identify individuals with genuine qualifications.

Risks of Fake Degrees in Different Industries

The risks of hiring someone with a fake degree can vary depending on the industry and the specific job role. In some cases, the risks may be relatively low, such as in jobs that do not require specific qualifications or where the consequences of a mistake are minimal. However, in other industries, the risks can be significant and can impact not only the individual employee, but also the company and even the public. Here are some examples of how fake degrees can pose a risk in different industries:


In the healthcare industry, employees with fake degrees can pose a serious risk to patient safety. For example, a nurse who obtained a fake nursing degree may not have the necessary knowledge and skills to provide safe and effective patient care. In 2020, a nurse in Florida was arrested for practicing nursing without a license, after it was discovered that she had obtained a fake nursing degree from an unaccredited institution.


In the engineering industry, employees with fake degrees can pose a risk to public safety. For example, an engineer who obtained a fake degree in structural engineering may not have the necessary expertise to design safe and reliable buildings or bridges. In 2018, an engineer in India was arrested for using a fake degree to secure a job with the Indian Railways, which led to concerns about the safety of railway bridges.


In the education industry, employees with fake degrees can undermine the integrity of the education system and damage the reputation of the institution. For example, a teacher who obtained a fake degree in education may not have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively teach students. In 2021, a teacher in the UK was fired after it was discovered that she had obtained a fake degree from a diploma mill in the US.


In the government sector, employees with fake degrees can pose a risk to national security and public trust. For example, a government employee who obtained a fake degree in cybersecurity may not have the necessary expertise to protect sensitive information from cyberattacks. In 2018, a senior official in the Indian government was fired after it was discovered that he had obtained a fake degree from a university in the US.

The Impact of Fake Degrees on the Economy

Fake degrees not only impact individuals and companies, but they can also have a broader impact on the economy. According to a report by CareerBuilder, 58% of hiring managers have caught a lie on a resume, and nearly half of those lies were related to education credentials. When companies hire employees with fake degrees, it can lead to lower productivity, higher turnover rates, and decreased job satisfaction, all of which can negatively impact the economy.

One example of the economic impact of fake degrees can be seen in the healthcare industry. In 2018, the California Department of Public Health fined the medical laboratory testing company, Aviir Inc., $100,000 for employing individuals with fake degrees. The employees in question were responsible for conducting medical tests and making medical diagnoses, which can have serious consequences if done incorrectly. The case highlights the potential danger of employees with fake degrees in critical industries such as healthcare.

Another example of the economic impact of fake degrees can be seen in the technology industry. In 2017, a software engineer at Google was fired after it was discovered that he had falsified his degree credentials. This incident not only damaged the reputation of the employee in question but also that of the company. It is estimated that companies lose billions of dollars each year due to employee fraud and misrepresentation.

According to Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp, "Faking a degree can have a severe impact on the economy because companies depend on trustworthy and qualified individuals to drive business results. A person who has faked a degree could be at a disadvantage in terms of skills and experience, which could ultimately result in lower quality work and decreased productivity."

In addition to the immediate financial impact, the long-term impact of fake degrees can also be significant. When companies hire employees with fake degrees, it can damage their reputation and lead to decreased trust from customers and stakeholders. This, in turn, can lead to a loss of business and revenue, further impacting the economy.

Overall, the economic impact of fake degrees is significant and can affect industries and sectors in a variety of ways. Companies must take steps to ensure that they are hiring qualified and trustworthy individuals to protect their business and the broader economy.

Strategies for Companies Dealing with Employees with Fake Degrees

Companies that discover that an employee has a fake degree may face a difficult situation. Depending on the severity of the situation, the company may need to terminate the employee's employment or take legal action. Here are some strategies that companies can use when dealing with employees with fake degrees:

Conduct an Investigation

If a company suspects that an employee has a fake degree, the first step is to conduct an investigation. The investigation should include a thorough review of the employee's educational background, including verification of their degree and accreditation of the institution.

Evaluate the Impact on the Company

If it is determined that an employee has a fake degree, the company should evaluate the impact of the situation on the company. This may include assessing the employee's job duties and responsibilities, the impact on the company's reputation, and the potential legal and financial implications.

Take Appropriate Action

Based on the results of the investigation and evaluation, the company should take appropriate action. This may include termination of employment, disciplinary action, or legal action against the employee or the institution that provided the fake degree.

Review and Revise Hiring Processes

To prevent future incidents of hiring employees with fake degrees, companies should review and revise their hiring processes. This may include implementing more stringent background checks and education verifications, as well as conducting regular audits of employee credentials.

Educate Employees

Companies should also educate their employees about the risks and consequences of obtaining and using fake degrees. This can help raise awareness and prevent future incidents.

Tips for Companies to Avoid Hiring Candidates with Fake Credentials Conduct Thorough Background Checks

Conduct Thorough Background Checks

Companies should conduct thorough background checks on job candidates, including education verifications, to ensure that they have the necessary qualifications and skills for the job.

Verify Accreditation of Institutions

Companies should verify the accreditation of the institutions listed on a candidate's resume or application. This can help ensure that the institution is legitimate and recognized.

Look for Red Flags

Companies should be on the lookout for red flags that may indicate a candidate is using a fake degree or other credentials. These may include discrepancies in the candidate's resume or application, unexplained gaps in employment history, and inconsistencies in job titles or responsibilities.

Utilize Professional Verification Services

Companies can also utilize professional verification services, such as those offered by, to ensure the authenticity of a candidate's credentials.

Train Hiring Managers

Companies should train their hiring managers to identify and avoid candidates with fake credentials. This can include providing training on how to conduct effective background checks and how to identify red flags in resumes and applications.

Companies that discover employees with fake degrees should take appropriate action to protect their reputation, ensure the safety of their employees, and reduce legal liability. To prevent future incidents of hiring employees with fake credentials, companies should conduct thorough background checks, verify the accreditation of institutions, look for red flags, utilize professional verification services, and train their hiring managers. By taking these steps, companies can ensure that they hire qualified and trustworthy employees and avoid the risks associated with hiring employees with fake degrees.

The Role of Background Verification Services

Background verification services, such as those offered by, can play a critical role in identifying individuals with fake degrees. These services typically involve verifying an individual's educational qualifications by contacting the relevant educational institution and confirming the degree or diploma. According to a survey conducted by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), 89% of employers conduct education verifications as part of their background screening process.

This can help ensure that the degree is genuine and that the individual has the necessary qualifications for the job they are applying for. Additionally, background verification services can also verify an individual's employment history, criminal record, and other important information. This can help companies make more informed hiring decisions and avoid potential legal or reputational