Fraud Unit: Fake diplomasPosted: Updated:
The Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is alerting businesses and consumers to DiplomaXpress http://www.diplomaxpress.com/, a Tucson-based online company that sells fake college diplomas, fake college transcripts, and fake transcript "verification services" to consumers around the world.
BBB has received three complaints against the company since December. In the complaints all three consumers say that they did not receive the "novelty" diplomas they ordered from the company, and are seeking refunds between $180-$260.
DiplomaXpress sells diploma and transcript packages on its Web site for as much as $431.99. Prospective customers have the choice of choosing from a fake high school, Associates, Bachelor's, Master's, or Ph.D. degree from a list hundreds of real educational institutions.
One consumer who filed a complaint with BBB, but wished to remain anonymous, said she shelled out $180 via certified mail for a fake diploma and transcripts from DiplomaXpress as a "gag gift," but her order never arrived.
"I never received anything from them," she told BBB. "I've called at least once a week since but I've never even got a response of any type."
For an additional $99.99 consumers can purchase DiplomaXpress' "Exclusive Verification Service," which consists of a fax number customers can give anyone wishing to verify the validity of their fake credentials.
On its Web site, Diploma Express says that they will respond to requests for transcripts "with a custom confirmation letter as well as a copy of your academic transcripts (if applicable) in the same way an actual college or university registrar department would."
As part of an investigation into DiplomaXpress, BBB submitted- but did not purchase- an order for two post-graduate diplomas from Harvard University.
When the payment page came up, it stated that due to "the nature of the products" the company sells, and the "strict guidelines" put in place by Paypal, and other payment processors, the company would only accept money orders, cashier's checks, and cash via mail. They asked payments be sent to: DC Graphics, 4729 E. Sunrise Dr. Ste 439 in Tucson.
BBB traced the address to a UPS post office box.
DiplomaXpress' website is registered with Zentek International, Ltd. <http://www.zentek-international.com/domain/>, a Hong Kong- based web hosting company that offers a service which allows owners of a Web site to make it appear as if they're located anywhere in the world. In the case of DiplomaXpress, a WHOIS search http://www.networksolutions.com/whois-search/diplomaxpress.com says that the company is located on a small island off the coast of Venezuela, rather than in Tucson.
Use of a fake diploma or transcripts when applying for certain types of jobs- especially government "public trust" positions- could be deemed illegal, and could be prosecuted.
Additionally, law enforcement officials tell BBB that fake diplomas and transcripts could possibly be deemed "forged instruments."
A phone call placed by BBB to DiplomaXpress principal, Jose Miller, seeking clarification of the uses for their products and services was not returned.