People usually study so hard for years to gain a genuine university degree, but many people have been caught recently possessing bogus degrees they bought from shady online institutions that are offering degrees without any study or exams.
A corporate fraud investigation agency has recently exposed that one in 20 job applicants in Malaysia has fake qualifications while one in 10 has credentials from unaccredited institutions.
This revelation comes after an Al-Jazeera documentary revealed a list of almost 80 Malaysians having allegedly purchased bogus degrees via Axact, a Pakistani firm known for degree mills.
According to the Star, Akhbar and Associates agency that conduct backgrounds checks on potential hires for companies found that up to 7 per cent of people investigated had fake degrees while between 10 per cent and 15 per cent had degrees from unaccredited universities.
The agency’s managing director Datuk Akhbar Satar said 5% to 7% of the people that they investigated had fake degrees while 10% to 15% had degrees from unaccredited universities.
“Many of these people with fake degrees are applying for senior management jobs and it happens in multiple industries, including banks, clinics and hospitals,” said Akhbar.
Akhbar was responding to an Al-Jazeera documentary into fake degree mills in Pakistan that revealed a list of those who allegedly bought fake qualifications, including PhDs and Masters, from Axact.
Akhbar is also Certified Fraud Examiners Association (Malaysia Chapter) president and former president of Transparency International Malaysia.
According to Akhbar, this phenomenon has been booming in Malaysia because of poor backgrounds checking practices and companies rarely took legal action or lodge police reports against employees with fake qualifications.
On May 2 of this year, Al-Jazeera reported that hundreds of thousands of people from around the world are taking up this too-good-to-be-true offer. Alarmingly, some of them then use these fake qualifications to get jobs as doctors, teachers and engineers.
Al-Jazeera 101 East exposes the sales tactics used by these fictitious online universities, with alleged links to Pakistani company, Axact.
After media reports exposed how Axact’s network appeared to be profiting from bogus degrees, the company’s founder, Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh, was arrested and charged with fraud.
Police raids at the company’s headquarters in Karachi found lists of fake universities, blank degree certificates, names and phone numbers of their customers and call recordings of Axact staff trying to extract money from them.