Bored of Education
Education verifications are one of the most popular inquiries that we do! In fact, in 2016, Commercial Investigations completed over 5,000 education verifications with 502 marked adverse. Education is one of the top inquiries that garners adverse hits, which means we see some serious shenanigans in our education searches. People make mistakes typing in their graduation year, or enter a higher GPA than they actually received, embellishing on their major, or even lie about receiving a degree at all.
In one glaring example, a subject claimed to have received a high school diploma. When the school couldn’t verify it was a GED issued in New York State, we called the New York State Department of Education, and they couldn’t verify it. The subject then said the GED was from Florida, which also did not pan out. The subject stated the GED was from Georgia, and then from New Jersey, along with stories about family moves, they forgot which state they had lived in. Finally, a month later, the subject confessed that he never received a diploma or GED!
Sometimes subjects buy degrees online! One of our lead investigators remembers one such time. "We had been going back and forth with the school official where she was adamant that the subject had not graduated. Finally, we requested a copy of the degree from the subject. The subject sent us a certificate, stating the candidate "has satisfactorily completed the course of study prescribed by the Board of Advisers" (spelled the British way) – as opposed to the correct Board of Education. The seal looked like it was purchased from an office supply store. We sent it on for review. The Board of Education stated:
1. Subject’s permanent record card states she dropped out in 1977
2. The class of 1977 graduated on June 26, 1977, not June 15, as stated on the "diploma"
3. The school district’s Board of Education was not a Board of Advisors nor Advisers
4. The school district’s Board of Education’s president in 1977 did not match the person listed on the subject’s "diploma"
5. The school’s Principal in 1977 was a person whose signature did not match the signature on the subject’s "diploma"
6. We received a copy of the 1977 graduation program with a mark to show where the subject would have been if they had graduated
A common practice when trying to verify a difficult diploma is asking for a copy of the degree. Most times, subjects send them right over, and sometimes we hear some funny excuses. "Someone drove a car through my living room and destroyed it", or "Someone broke into my storage unit and stole just my diploma." Alas, we wish these excuses were fictional, but we cannot tell a lie.
One subject whose degree we couldn’t verify went online to look up online high schools that offered tests, and proceeded to take one while telling us they would get back to us…but the school was not accredited. They’d spent $250 on a fake diploma they couldn’t use! So, we’ve pretty much heard it all now…and occasionally, we do get bored with those who try to pull the wool over our eyes.
When it comes to any part of a background investigation, honesty is the best policy! Call CI to learn more about education verifications or other solutions to meet your needs at 1-800-284-0906.