How to spot fake certificates from outside MalaysiaChen Wan Lim
With tens of thousands of students graduating every year in Malaysia and a multitude returning from overseas, employers in all industries are bound to receive some applicants with questionable degrees from a questionable institute of higher education overseas. Some degrees are easy to spot as the name of the college and university are a dead giveaway, whereas others are simply better crafted to deceive. If that is not enough, there are candidates who produce counterfeit certificates from genuine courses from genuine universities. With a little fact-finding and background search, here’s how you can spot fake certificates from outside Malaysia:
1. Iffy name
If the name of a university sounds a bit off, then it probably is. While a genuine university would be Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, a fake university would be University of Northern New Jersey, Established 2012.
2. Dodgy website
Almost all colleges and universities these days have websites – fake universities included. While real universities have websites which have tonnes of information regarding the university itself and detailed information about the course structures, including names and photographs of faculty members, fake universities often display dubious information with vague contact details. However, these fake websites are quick to ask for some sort of deposit to enrol in the course for the learning platform.
3. Devil in the detail
Chances are, genuine certificates will never contain spelling errors. If you happen to come across a minor spelling error in a certificate, then it’s probably a fake. Also, the alignment plays a pivotal role as genuine certificates are normally aligned down the centre of the page.
4. Quality of certificate
Genuine universities usually use heavy-gauge high-quality papers for their certificates. Also, genuine certificates have security markings such as stamps, holograms and watermarks. In addition, pay attention to the authorised signatory on the certificate. You should be able to countercheck the name with the registry of the university.
So, what can prospective employers do to weed-out fake qualifications?
1. Do a quick check on the internet
Conduct quick checks on the internet and browse through the university website. Look for course structure and any other information on accreditation from authorising bodies.
2. Contact the university
If employers have doubts on whether the applicant did really graduate from the university (assuming the university is indeed genuine), then request a verified transcript of all the subjects and grades taken throughout the duration of the degree. Alternatively, contact the university to verify if the person did indeed graduate there.
For students, it is worthwhile noting that there are no shortcuts to success and that cheaters never prosper. Success only comes through hard work and perseverance. Ultimately, the knowledge that is gained through proper education will be shown through the quality of the work at the workplace.