Considering the salary difference for diploma and degree holders, some people feel that making a one-time payment for a forged degree might result in a bigger salary payout without having to undergo years of studying themselves. Thus, it comes as no surprise that there have been numerous reports surrounding the issue in Malaysia.
In 2012, Verity Intelligence made front-page news when it exposed that many job applicants were applying for employment with fake degrees. In the same year, the Star newspaper reported that three people were detained in connection with fake Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) degrees have cheated more than 20 people, who bought the fakes for approximately RM4,888 each via a specific website. Considering how easy it is to access such forgeries, it is no surprise that there have been an increase in fake degrees over the years.
With more graduates joining the workforce every year, it can be quite a task to identify the genuine article from fake degrees when these come complete with realistic-looking transcripts and embossed seals.
This issue becomes a bigger concern when these bogus graduates start applying for jobs that require highly qualified or skilled applicants. Datuk Akhbar Satar, the Director of the Institute of Crime and Criminology of HELP University, even cautioned in a 2016 open letter of the dangers of people posing to be professors, calling the scam of fake degrees among the worst kind of criminal activities today.
To discover if a candidate is being honest, background screening companies, like Verity Intelligence, would directly contact relevant institutions to determine:
- The authenticity of the degree
- The duration of the programme
- Verify academic achievements
- Confirmation of programme completion
- If diplomas/degrees and transcripts have been forged
While possessing a degree does not equate to skills, it serves as proof that a graduate has spent years studying a dedicated subject and have acquired the necessary skills to start a job.
Last but not least, if the candidate is willing to forge a fake degree, how far more would they go when they are at the workplace?