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Operators of Alleged Diploma Mills Charged by FTC

In a February 10, 2016 press release, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it has filed charges against two operators of online high schools.  The two companies provided little in the way of education and charged $135-$349 for each diploma provided.
In the FTC complaint, the commission states that the two separate operations falsely claimed association with recognized high school equivalency programs and asserted that the diplomas they offered were equivalent to an actual high school diploma. Both operations purchased a variety of website names for their “high schools” and used key words like “GED” or “GED online” in their site design to achieve higher search rankings.
The FTC alleges that the so-called courses offered consisted of just four untimed, unmonitored multiple-choice tests that required the students to achieve only 70% accuracy. The Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, Jessica Rich, stated “If a company says you can get a diploma in no time at all or by simply taking an online test, it’s almost certainly a scam”
Many consumers attempted to use diplomas from Stepping Stonz Development, LLC and Capitol Network Distance Learning Programs, LLC when applying for jobs, college, and the military, but found that the diplomas were not recognized. The FTC has asked for a temporary restraining order against these two defendants, halting their operations and freezing their assets.
The FTC also provides advice on what to look for in regards to online high schools in their new publication High School Diploma Scams.  Hire Image has also written about this subject in the past as well in our blog post Resume Fraud: Detecting White Lies.

Performing thorough background checks and verifications is the most effective way to uncover false truths on a resume. Reputable background screening companies such as Hire Image train their staff to be extremely thorough in the verification process and recognize diploma mills. Performing this highly valuable procedure could prevent your company from experiencing the unfortunate – and costly – repercussions of fraudulence.

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