Case study: Bogus degrees

people2.jpg

In today’s business environment, fraudulent practices and manipulating the trust of others is so commonplace that people do it very often and with confidence. Unfortunately, this is also true when it comes to employment, as some potential candidates will present fake and bogus background certificates to try to gain an edge in the hiring process. Shedding light on this concern, CRI Group would like to discuss one such issue which is of fake and bogus background certificates.

Uneducated, untrained and incompetent personnel often rely on fake degrees and fake employment certificates to get hired into positions for which they are unqualified. Many countries still lack a culture in which verification is conducted as a matter of course to establish employment credentials, and CRI Group’s investigators have seen countless incidences in which degrees were discovered to be fake – including cases in which an employee using fake credentials had been at their position of employment for more than a decade!

The practice is so common that many are doing it, while just a small percentage are caught. In Pakistan, for example, even well-known personalities have been found to be deceptive, including former senator Yasmeen Shah, who presented a fake Bachelor of Arts Degree (The Express Tribune 2017) and Usman Dar of Pakistan Tehreek E Insaf, who provided a fake Masters Degree (Pakistan Today 2017).

Where do people secure fake degrees so easily? There are numerous agents that help to make such bogus degrees – at a cost. For example, there was the famous scandal involving Karachi-based IT company “Axact Private Limited” who was selling fake degrees and diplomas. (Naqvi 2015)

CRI Group investigated one such individual who provided a Bachelor’s Degree with the major “Information Technology” to our client (one of the largest and fastest-growing multinational companies in Pakistan), which was duly processed by our team for verification and revealed to be a bogus degree. When we confronted the individual, instead of admitting his mistake, he argued and questioned our methods while submitting another bogus degree of “Bachelor of Science,” which he claimed was the right one.

CRI Group roundly condemns such fraudulent practices, and we seek to make people aware of the importance of background screening and its essential role in the recruitment process. There should be a paradigm shift from “Trust all Employees” to “Trust but Verify,” so that in this era of competition the deserving candidate for a particular job gets the opportunity to hold the position that he/she deserves. In order to prosper, organizations must eliminate unsafe hiring practices and take measures to be aware of such attempts.

Bibliography

  1. The Express Tribune. 2017. "Ex-senator Yasmeen Shah's BA degree declared fake." November 13. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1557286/1-ex-senator-yasmeen-shahs-ba-degree-declared-fake/.
  2. Naqvi, Hassan. 2015. "Axact wasn’t just selling fake degrees!" Pakistan Today. May 24. https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/05/24/axact-wasnt-just-selling-fake-degrees/.
  3. Pakistan Today. 2017. "Britain’s education dept does not recognise Masters degree of PTI’s Usman Dar: report." November 28. https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/11/28/britains-education-dept-does-not-recognise-ptis-usman-dar-degree-report/.
  4. Shehzad, Rizwan. 2017. "Axact fake degree case: Judge confesses to receiving Rs5m bribe to acquit Shoaib Shaikh." THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > PAKISTAN. June 16. https://tribune.com.pk/story/1436815/axact-fake-degree-case-judge-confesses-receiving-rs5m-bribe-acquit-shoaib-shaikh/.