Purchases of Degrees from Diploma Mills

GAO-03-269R: Published: Nov 21, 2002. Publicly Released: Jan 21, 2003.

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Ronald D. Malfi
(202) 512-7420


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

This report discusses the investigation of diploma mills that illegally sell fraudulent academic degrees to individuals that use them to gain positions and increase income based upon these documents. Per request, GAO handled the undercover operation and successfully purchased a degree from a diploma mill to demonstrate how easily one can be purchased. Individuals found guilty of purchasing such documents were contacted and interviewed as well, further concluding the identity of a diploma mill, Degrees-R-Us. The owner was questioned and admitted to the sales of approximately 100 fraudulent degrees over the past 2 years when his business began. This matter will be investigated by both the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Postal Service as well.

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