Fake SCU degrees, North Coast TAFE diplomas for $6500 a pop
FORGED degrees from Southern Cross University and diplomas from North Coast TAFE are being sold by a Chinese business for up to $6500.
The business, whose name translates to 'Overseas Students Assistant HD' operates on Chinese-language social media popular with international students.
Overseas Students Assistant HD claim to source paper from the same parchment provider used by the universities to produce their $3500 'copy' degrees or diplomas and their $5700 'originals.'
The business offers degrees from 42 Australian universities and 53 TAFE's around the country.
For $6500, the business claims to be able to enter the fraudulent details into university databases and the official qualification register system run by the Chinese government's Education Department.
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On its social media page Overseas Students Assistant HD lists its professional services as "Overseas education consulting, certified qualification certificate, medical certificate, solicitor's certificate, employment, migration services."
Overseas Students Assistant HD has no website and has only been active on social media since September 2014. Southern Cross University Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Bill MacGillivray said the University had a number of security processes in place to protect the authenticity and integrity of its degree testamurs.
"We will be watching with interest how this matter, which impacts almost all universities and a range of other tertiary providers in Australia, is dealt with by the appropriate authorities," Professor MacGillivray said.
North Coast TAFE institute director Elizabeth McGregor said a North Coast TAFE qualification is highly valued by students and highly regarded by employers.
"Given this mark of quality, official testamurs, which formally certify our students' successful completion of a TAFE NSW course, are protected by sophisticated security features," she said.
A NSW Police spokeswoman said any institution or organisation that believes its brand or property has been illegally imitated should report the matter to their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.