Commercial Investigations LLC

CI News

Press Releases

Spotlight: Fake Diplomas

In our last issue of CI Times, we discussed how roughly 10% of our education verifications come back adverse. It could be something as little as the subject writing their graduation date down wrong, to something as huge as a fake diploma. It’s graduation season and that means that a lot of HR Departments are going to be running and re-running education checks.

At Commercial Investigations we have seen our fair share of fake diplomas, so we thought it would be a good idea to share some tips on how to tell if a diploma may be phony. The easiest way to tell if a diploma is fictitious is if there are misspelled words on the certificate. You would be surprised at how many people don’t spell check. We have also seen subjects submit diplomas to us with married names on them. Note to forger: We know what names you’ve used before we even start the verification.  Spelling of words used in other countries is also a ‘favourite’ of ours.

Another way to tell if a diploma is legitimate is by looking at the seal on the original document. For example, New York State uses the same Department of Education seal on all of its diplomas. We recently received a diploma with a fake seal on it. The reason we knew it was fake was because it’s the same seal used in 3rd grade reading clubs! Your best defense against a fake diploma is to be vigilant and make sure everything is triple checked. And of course, have CI work our magic for you!

Sherry Kocienski