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Graduation selfies may lead to fake degree rise, warn experts

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-06-11 22:20

LONDON - Freshly graduated students are urged not to share the images of themselves posing with their degrees on social media, so as to avoid fuelling the multi-million-pound trade in fake degrees, warned experts Monday.

Higher Education Degree Datacheck (Hedd), the UK's official service for verifying degrees, said that the growing trend for documenting degree-success online is giving fraudsters access to the latest logos, crests, signatories, stamps, holograms and wording, fuelling the booming business of selling fake certificates.

The most accurate fake version can be sold online for over 200 pounds and can be used to deceive prospective employers, the organisation said.

Research conducted by Hedd shows that more than two-thirds of students plan to take "graduation selfies" to document their achievement this year, while up to 74 percent of students were unaware that images of their degree certificates could be used to produce fakes.

Jayne Rowley, chief executive of Hedd, said universities like Oxford and Cambridge were among the main targets.

She warned the students, "You wouldn't share a picture of your passport or your driving licence. Degree certificates are no different. Degree fraud affects everyone. After investing time and money in a degree, genuine graduates should not be at risk of losing out in the jobs market to a candidate using a fake certificate."

Considering the threat, some 20 universities in Britain are offering digital diplomas that can not be faked, according to Hedd.

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