Degrees: fake papers heading this way

2012-06-15 00:00

FAKE degrees from legitimate Indian universities are making their way to South Africa, but aspiring tricksters are warned they will be wasting their money buying them.

Danie Strydom of Qualifications Verification Services said a fake Indian BA degree could be bought for R5 000 and an instant MBA for R20 000. Diplomas in a computer courses are in demand and sell for about R10 000.

He said he expected fake degrees to become available on the SA market later this year because there was a lucrative market.

Some of the bogus certificates were from bona fide Indian universities that offered a full verification service, said Strydom, which posed a major threat to employers and academic institutions alike.

“We know from experience that degree fraudsters are often accomplished liars who can talk themselves into a job,” he added. Once they are employed they were incapable of performing their duties.

The South African Qualifications Authority said that close to 100 of the 1 200 degrees it tested for authenticity recently were false.

CEO Joe Samuels said suspected document fraud was always investigated. In the past financial year 1 334 investigations were made. Ninety-eight suspected forgeries were detected.

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