A Valley woman is blowing the whistle on what she believes is a fake medical school that scammed her out of thousands of dollars.
After paying for dozens of certifications and even two advanced degrees, Paulina Buhagiar said she found out it was all bogus while trying to apply for a job.
Six months isn't much time when it comes to medical school, but that's how long Buhagiar said she took classes at Para Health Professionals. The college is a private company that told her she was earning dozens of medical certifications and even a master's and doctorate degree in psychology.
“The certification that they have, they're not even real, sir,” said Buhagiar, who took classes from March to October of this year. “What I have, I have so much [from the college] and it's not even real.”
Buhagiar said she paid $15,000 for several short classes that lasted a four to six weeks each.
“I quit my job [in] accounting because I thought I’m going to get the healthcare job because they pay more money,” Buhagiar said.
She got suspicious when the school called after her “graduation” and told her she needed to pay for more classes or they would void her degrees.
“[The school] said, ‘In order for you to be a really good doctor you have to keep going to school,”’ Buhagiar said.
She became even more concerned after applying for a healthcare job. Her potential employers said they needed to check her school’s credentials.
The website for Para Health Professionals lists two addresses in Scottsdale. One, listed as its home office, is at a strip mall where it doesn’t appear the school has a suite. The school is also not listed as being registered with the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education, the state agency that regulates private colleges.
PHP’s website also claims the school is affiliated with California University F.C.E., another private school from California which appears on the diplomas issued to Buhagiar. Calls and emails to both private companies have yet to be returned.
Meantime, Buhagiar said she's filed a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and is looking for a lawyer to go after the school.
“They should be locked up, sir,” she said.
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