Friday, 9 December 2011

Believing the unbelievable

I repeat myself, I know I do. But some things are worth repeating over and over again until everyone understands them. I know that you, the one reading this right now, understands, that’s obvious. You’re a Mmegi reader, you’re intelligent, charming and outrageously attractive. However there are people out there not quite as fortunate as you or me. This is for them.

You cannot get a real, genuine, authentic qualification without doing any studying. You know this, I know this, most people know this. But the number of fake universities on the internet suggests that there are people out there who are either so unintelligent, lazy or greedy (or most dangerous of all, all three) that they think they can buy a degree online without doing any work.

Over the last few years I’ve had contact with an enormous number of fake universities and colleges. All of them have had one thing in common. They are entirely online, they don’t have a campus, they don’t actually employ any lecturers and they don’t actually exist. Their web sites are all very smart with pictures of smiling students and they repeatedly mention that they are accredited but this is all lies. In fact their accreditation is from fake accreditation bodies they have set up themselves. The pictures of students are just stock photos you can find all over the internet.

The real truth about these so-called universities is that all you have to do is give them your credit card number and you’ll get a fake qualification within days. They all do this.

What’s really surprising is that so many of them are all the same. I mean that literally. I suspect that they’re exactly the same people. In the past I’ve registered as an interested “student” using an assumed name and with a specially created free email address. Of course I didn’t pay any of them any money, I just got to the last step before that but already I’d been offered all types of qualifications from High School Diplomas to doctorates, all without any evidence that I was qualified, other than having a credit card. The interesting thing is that they continued to email my fake identity for months afterwards with increasingly silly offers. But then a more interesting thing happened. The fake email address started to get identical emails from other universities and I do mean identical. With the exception of the name of the fake establishment the wording was absolutely identical.

Clearly these fake online universities are all connected. So far, from an initial enquiry with Belford “University” I’ve been contacted by Belford, Corllins University, Universal Degrees, Headway University and, just a few days ago, RISE University. All of these are fake universities and clearly the same bunch of crooks and scammers is behind all of them. I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist but this is a conspiracy to delude the naïve into thinking they can get a fake degree this way.

Actually that’s not true. This is an area where I become intolerant. Anyone with the brains to know that a degree will help their career also understands that these degrees are fakes. They know they’re committing a fraud when they get a job or a promotion by passing off these degrees as genuine.

I also think that most people know that there’s no such things a genuine Get Rich Quick scheme. Other than winning a lottery or discovering that you’re the only beneficiary of a recently deceased millionaire (neither of which is ever going to happen to you or me) people don’t suddenly get rich.

At the moment the most common miracle money-making schemes are the Forex trading plans. Several are going around Botswana right now saying that they can offer you massive returns on a very small investment. Cashflow Pro promise you a return of 10-30% each month. If their promises are true that means after a year your “investment” will have increased by between 300% and 2,000%. Clearly that’s nonsense.

Another scheme I was asked about offers a return of “Up to 2.9% daily”. That doesn’t too much but on an annual basis that’s a potential return of over 3,000,000%. The first example was nonsense, but this one is insane.

Surely everybody knows that this sort of income is a fantasy? Surely everyone knows that anyone offering you this sort of return is lying? If anyone suggests that this is possible just ask them this. If it’s possible why aren’t the banks making this sort of money? They’re the experts, if they can’t do it what makes you think ordinary mortals like you and me can?

So why do people believe the unbelievable? Why do some non-Mmegi-reading people believe that they can get a degree without any work or make 3 million percent returns on minor investments? Is it just naiveté or is it something more sinister, something harder to forgive? I think the news is bad. It’s not just gullibility, I think it’s a dangerous combination of greed and laziness. I know we all want to better our conditions but there are plenty of people who want something quick without any work. This is where fake degree and income scammers make a fortune. They tap into naiveté and make money at the expense of the gullible.

The good news is that this would never happen to a Mmegi reader, we’re far too smart, moral and sophisticated. Aren’t we?

1 comment:

Kasey Chang said...

Smiling student picture is a part of stock photo package. It can also be found on this website: