Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Pakistani diploma mill

The British BBC reports that thousands of fake diplomas from a Pakistani diploma mill have been purchased by UK nationals. The company Axact is said to have set up hundreds of "universities" that only exist in their online presence, using stock photos for campus and student life imagery and including "news" stories that never happened. The telephone numbers for universities with names such as "Brooklyn Park University" and "Nixon University" are said to be connected to a call center in Karachi.

Apparently, a new side business in extortion and blackmail has opened up, with a telephone caller who is faking the caller id pretending to be the police. The caller threatens arrest unless additional documents are produced to back up the degree. Such documents appear to also be for sale at the "institutions."

The New York Times reported in 2015 on Axact, leading to a senior manager of Axact being sentenced to 21 months prison in the US in August 2017, according to the BBC. A Pakistani investigation seems to be stalled at the moment.