Saturday, March 14, 2009

Consumer Incentive: Driving the DALC EDUCATION FRAUD

Phony college degrees, bogus CAM/OXIM diplomas, and meaningless CAM/OXIM professional awards are some pieces of the Education scam. The diploma mill business as a whole has blossomed over the last decade and with little legal, moral, or economic resistance. Outside its number one goal—to make millions off the needs of either unwitting or downright deceitful consumers—this very lucrative international business also threatens the legitimacy of higher education, both traditional and online.

Where Consumers Go, Business Follows

Like drugs—there's error on the side of both pusher and user. There is a cloud of misinformation, and an unfortunate naiveté of I-had-no-idea-it-wasn't-real on the consumer's side. Those individuals that have intentionally bought bogus degrees and purposely set out to dupe employers, college admissions boards, and other officials still have a bit of run time left to play their ignorance card.

Spotty Laws

White collar crime goes typically underreported and unchallenged in Kenya. Trouble is crimes that are ascribed stiff penalties are those that leave bullet marks, people scarred, raped, and murdered. Some people have been lucky enough to get light sentences for drug offenses, fraud and corruption in Kenya, but that's another story.


As far as clear-cut laws go, though, the system is weak. Consumers caught using fake degrees as a leg up in their professional lives risk a fine, but in many cases they are playing the ignorance card. Phony degree mills, in order to evade fraud allegations and fines, are simply packing up and moving to a country where any kind of higher education regulation is lax and "soft" crimes are given little attention. 

International Laws

The problem of diploma mills is not confined to Kenya. The combination of consumer demand and the billions to be earned fan the fervor overseas as well. Some estimates put the worldwide take on degree mills in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Even if the problem is removed fromthis  country, there is the wide-open realm of international markets with which to contend.

Supply, Demand, and Consumer Incentive

But what drives consumer demand for bogus Cambridge/Oxford qualifications? Why would one think a degree conferred based on "life experience" is anything but bogus? And why are the regulations on such a business so insignificant?

Profitable and successful scams thrive from the blood supply pumped by consumer frenzy. When individuals are willing to pay a hundred thousand shillings in return for nearly instant Bachelor's, Master's, and even Ph.D. degrees, complete with official transcripts and degree verification services, from European Business School Cambridge LTD then you have to raise an eyebrow. Read the section on "Diploma Mills." The types of individuals to whom fake degrees and phony diplomas appeal, and why, will likely shock you.

Battlefield of Diploma Mills

Right now the biggest battle over diploma mills and the consumerism of fake degrees and the like is being fought with information. As high-level as the problem may be, the discovery of illegitimate educational degrees in all areas of business and industry rarely make the top news headlines. Hopefully we can get the word out without some tragic/political story to bring attention to our mainstream media.
Adapted from


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