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Cybercrime Dilemma in Distance Education Scandals



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Journal of Information System Security
Volume 13, Number 2 (2017)
Pages 117131
ISSN 1551-0123
Nattakant Utakrit — King Mongkut's University of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand
Information Institute Publishing, Washington DC, USA




The operation of degree mills or diploma mills has continued for decades. Several cases of buying or selling bogus degrees have been reported. The growth of information technology makes diploma mills becoming more sophisticated and widespread. Therefore, the research objectives were to explore a brief history of degree mills and identify the causes that explain degrees sellers’ and buyers’ intentions and characteristics of fraudulent activities through the published news. The paper focused on exploring, analyzing and discussing the latest diploma mill incidents. Forty nine diploma mills during the last five and a half years were raised and published. The consequences of such actions are also explored and discussed to find recommendations or appropriate solutions. The study found that the new tactics of online academic fraud are more strategic, ranging from deceptive individuals to bogus organizations. It offers quick and easy fake degrees in an exchange for a small fee over the Internet. Foreigners are more likely to be targeted. The businesses or institutions that advertise or publicize phony certificates cannot always be condemned. Dishonest learners are, sometimes, aware of the academic frauds, and yet they still act unethically or illegally. The penalties for fraudulent activities range from a minimum of being suspended from one’s professional career, through to a maximum of being incarcerated. This study aims to track the traits of phony education, to ensure that people and authorities are more concern about the impacts and will mitigate the crimes and implement legal enforcement where loopholes have been found for more serious actions. It concluded that enhancing ethics regarding education and self-awareness training, as well as the strengthening of national and international law and strenuous penalties are the ways to mitigate the world’s leading educational crime.




Diploma Mills, Degree Mills, Distance Education, Bogus Degree, Cybercrime, Fraudulent Academic Credential




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