Greater than 40 fraudulent web sites have been shut down in a significant crackdown on the sale of faux levels.
The websites closed included these promoting authentic-looking certificates utilizing the names of actual British universities.
Others had been suppliers providing distance studying programs however weren’t legitimate UK diploma awarding our bodies.
An company set as much as examine the difficulty, Higher Education Degree Datacheck (Hedd), mentioned it had studies of greater than 90 bogus establishments.
It follows a BBC South East investigation which discovered pretend College of Kent diploma certificates on sale on-line in China for £500.
Jayne Rowley, the upper training providers director at Prospects which runs Hedd, mentioned final September was its busiest month up to now, with the closure of 4 bogus college websites and three web sites promoting pretend diploma certificates from a number of UK universities.
“One of many establishments we shut down in September was Stafford College. Now, in fact there may be a wholly real Staffordshire College, so they’re piggy-backing on a reputation,” she mentioned.
“There are some websites the place they’ve truly taken the title of an actual college – Surrey for instance.
“There was a bogus supplier shut down by us a few months in the past calling itself Surrey College, and we have had ‘Wolverhamton college’ with out the ‘p’ within the center.”
Different pretend certificates have presupposed to have come from Salford and Anglia Ruskin universities, whereas levels from the College of Manchester had been offered on the public sale web site eBay.
The federal government introduced a crackdown on bogus providers in June 2015, with the intention of prosecuting and taking down fraudulent web sites.
Ms Rowley mentioned Hedd had taken motion in opposition to offenders each within the UK and abroad.
She mentioned: “Underneath UK regulation you aren’t allowed to name your self a college until you might be entitled to take action and that requires an order from the Secretary of State.
“If you’re utilizing the title of an actual college that’s breaching trademark legal guidelines, you aren’t allowed to commerce on any individual’s good title.”
Hedd has now requested new graduates to not take pictures with their actual diploma certificates in case they inadvertently assist fraudsters.
A spokesman for the Division for Training mentioned: “Diploma fraud cheats each real learners and employers so we have taken decisive motion to crack down on these searching for to revenue from it.”