Fake degrees: Exposing Canadians with phoney credentials (Marketplace)

Fake degrees: Exposing Canadians with phoney credentials (Marketplace)

[ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: This is your Marketplace. We expose the shady business of fake degrees.>>The magnitude will blow your mind.>>Asha: Who’s fooling you? We want to talk to you about your questionable PhDs. We track down the fakers. Why would you purchase a fake degree? We follow the trail to Pakistan, reveal the operation behind it all.>>Asha: You can’t afford to miss this. [ ♪♪ ]>>All right. Eric, time to get schooled.>>Asha: We’re looking to beef up our credentials.>>There are so many online programs out there.>>Asha: Hundreds to choose from. But how do you know which one to trust?>>I just found you guys online, and I was looking to see if I could get a degree or inquire about some education.>>So what’s involved in the schooling? [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: This is just our first step in exposing an international underground scheme.>>So no courses, no classes. I just pay a fee and I get a degree?>>Just out of curiosity, there is no one I can meet up with or chat with in person, I guess?>>I get to choose the date when I graduate?>>Asha: We’re on a journey to find out how long it will take for these journalists to become doctors. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: To get the lowdown, I’m meeting up with former FBI agent Allen Ezell. [ ♪♪ ]>>It’s a bonanza. There’s a worldwide market for academic credentials. The paper opens the door to getting the job, getting the promotion, getting the raise.>>Asha: He spent four decades investigating schools offering fake degrees. They’re called diploma mills.>>We’re not talking about classroom. We’re not talking about learning. It’s all smoke and mirrors and a façade. None of it exists.>>Asha: American research shows more than half of all new PhDs in the US are fake. [ ♪♪ ] [ ♪♪ ]>>We want to know how big the problem is here in Canada. Okay, guys, ready to check out this database?>>Let’s do it.>>I’m ready.>>Asha: We get our hands on an exclusive database of more than 800 Canadians from coast to coast to coast that show they could have fake degrees.>>Check this out, a medical doctor in a small town in BC.>>A former police officer on this list.>>A professor who teaches at Seneca college.>>Asha: There’s even an ordained minister in here. Politicians, pharmacists, business owners, engineers, they’re all on our list. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: We’re starting our investigation with counsellors treating serious medical conditions with fake degrees.>>On.>>Turn this on too.>>Asha: Getting wired up to see what the’ll reveal in person, posing as a couple in crisis.>>Asha: Are you two prepared for some relationship counseling?>>As ready as we’ll ever be.>>Asha: Good luck.>>Thank you.>>Thanks. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: First up, meet Alfred Ojo. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: He treats ADHD, anger management, depression, PTSD. The list goes on.>>Asha: Ojo says he was educated in Nigeria and the US. His online profile says he has a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Ashley University.>>Asha: So Ojo’s degree is bogus. But maybe his counseling skills are real.>>Asha: Much of this session is focussed on giving us metaphors about relationships like this one about lasagna.>>Asha: We’re just journalists, but this session seems odd. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: So at Western University, I check in with someone who can break it down for us.>>How many fingers?>>Asha: Psychology professor Dr Alan Leschied.>>We hold the public’s trust. In that, the public has an expectation of a quality of service. Because these are the most vulnerable times in their lives.>>Asha: We show him parts of our session with Alfred Ojo. His opinion…>>I don’t want to comment so much directly on this individual. Although, probably anybody seeing that would raise their eyebrow, and say, “Jeez, is that what therapy is? “That’s what I get over “the clothesline with “my neighbour.” That is not therapy. [ ♪♪ ]>>Nice to see you again.>>Asha: We go in a second time with more questions about Ojo’s education.>>Asha: This is the question that really seems to throw him for a loop.>>Asha: Wait a second. His LinkedIn profile says he went there from 2007 to 2008.>>Asha: And with that, he walks out of the room, looks like he needs a break from our team’s questions. But now, I have some of my own. We have tried to contact you more than once to share your perspective about your Masters Degree from Ashley University. Please give us a call back. Alfred Ojo never calls us back. So we try again in person. Remember, he’s been counseling patients for over two decades. Mr Ojo. My name is Asha Tomlinson. I’m with CBC Marketplace. We want to talk to you about your questionable degree from Ashley University.>>Excuse me, I’m not ready to talk to you about that.>>Why not? We’ve reached out to you several times. Why wouldn’t you just share your perspective on why you have this fake degree from a questionable institution?>>Because you know, I don’t know how you got the information, and I don’t think–>>Asha: We have a list of Canadians, and that includes you. You’re on that list. Why would you purchase a fake degree? What about the people who believe in you as a counsellor who trust you and your credentials? Sir. Ojo never admits to buying his degree. And after we reach out to him, he pulls down his LinkedIn profile and says he’s no longer taking new clients.>>Actions speak louder than words. You got the message across. He had a fake degree and he’s not going to expose himself any further. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: We’re still trying to buy our very own fake degrees.>>Hi, is this Ashwood University?>>This is Corrlins University, correct?>>So, check this out. I just found Almeda University. When you check them out online, the first thing that pops up is Life Experience Degree.>>I’m looking to get a degree.>>Asha: Almeda, Corrlins, GatesVille, Ashwood all say they’ll trade in life experience for credit hours. Send in your resume, your money and just wait for your degree in the mail.>>So what’s the total I’d be paying?>>Asha: We get the whole package, including proof we attended the school. But we’re told it’s apparently above board.>>So, what you’re saying is Almeda is legit?>>Asha: Not what we’ve heard.>>Almeda has never been real. It’s never been legitimately, traditionally accredited by a recognized entity in it’s life, period.>>Asha: While we wait for our degrees to arrive, we notice Almeda shows up dozens of times in our research including with this Toronto psychotherapist and registered social worker.>>Asha: Dr Gilbert Correces. He says he has a Masters in Social Work from the Philippines and this PhD in Biblical Counseling. His online profile boasts a 4.0 GPA. Treating very serious issues. Substance abuse, PTSD, ADHD, child abuse, and more.>>Asha: We don’t need to ask about his degree, it’s hanging on his wall.>>And you have a PhD from Almeda.>>Asha: Remember, Almeda does not exist.>>Two years?>>Can I stop you right there?>>Yes, you can.>>So, I can c– Okay, it takes two years.>>Asha: Two years.>>No.>>Asha: Psychology professor Dr Alan Leschied says writing a dissertations usually takes much longer than that.>>Typically four years, sometimes five years and sometimes even longer. Original work. It’s not a click and paste activity.>>Asha: We give Gilbert Correces a second chance to explain his schooling.>>Asha: Wait. What? It’s in California now.>>Asha: And when our producers continue to test his skills asking for advice on how to handle long distance relationships, things get really bizarre.>>Asha: Professor Leschied is not impressed.>>You don’t disclose things of a personal nature inappropriate that are focussed on yourself. If you’re just telling these stories because you’re trying to be seen by your clients in certain ways because it makes you feel better or whatever, those are boundary violations.>>Asha: We spent weeks asking Correces for an on camera interview. He says no. So we meet up with him near his work. I’m Asha Tomlinson with CBC Marketplace.>>You put me right on the spot, hey?>>Asha: Our investigation shows that Almeda University is a fake institution. Why did you get your degree from them?>>Well, how did I know about that?>>Asha: We just paid a fee and we were able to order a PhD.>>Really? That’s good for you. Well, if you don’t do any work. Some people work and some people cheat.>>Asha: Did you cheat?>>I did not cheat.>>Asha: But when we check his thesis, over 30% was plagiarized. Don’t you think you’re breaking the trust of your clients?>>I’m not, I’m using my knowledge and skills.>>Asha: Correces says he understood his thesis had been approved by Almeda. But now, he’s taken down his LinkedIn profile and is no longer listed as a therapist on the clinic’s website.>>Asha: Why is your profile removed from the website where you work?>>Well, things change, you know.>>Asha: So you’re no longer working there?>>No.>>Asha: When we check, the clinic confirms they terminated his contract. Does this professor have a fake degree?>>You did your post grad online?>>Yeah.>>Where did you do it? Here at Seneca?>>Asha: Who else is faking it? This is your Marketplace.>>Asha: The real deal on your Marketplace. We’ve spent months undercover investigating Canadians with bogus degrees. And now, we’re about to get some of our own.>>All right. Moment of truth.>>Let’s see what we have.>>Wow!>>So our degrees are here.>>They are. I have a PhD in Psychology from Almeda University.>>PhD in Psychology, GatesVille University.>>Asha: Take a look. We get our degrees. But that’s not all. We also get transcripts with a list of bogus courses we never took, attendance records. And your GPA, 3.92. Nicely done.>>And it was just too easy.>>Asha: And that name we used, check it out. That’s right. It’s Marketplace. Back on the case, we find others who have degrees just like ours.>>So I just found a professor at Seneca college in Toronto here.>>Asha: Dubravko Zgrablic has a Masters Degree in Computer Science from Almeda University. We have heard that school name before.>>He teaches computer applications and business applications. He’s also taught at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University too. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: Posing as potential students, our team meets up with him…>>Asha: ..to find out more about his so-called Masters from Almeda.>>Asha: He can’t remember where he got his degree from?>>Asha: 11 phone exams, never heard of that before.>>Asha: Now, this isn’t the first time an educator has been exposed. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: We travelled to Pittsburgh, Kansas, where a group of high school students made international headlines after they investigated their principal and her two fake degrees.>>A group of students had their doubts about their new principal.>>Their incoming principal resigned after their investigation into her credentials.>>Asha: The story went viral.>>When you started to dig deeper, what were you finding?>>A lot of discrepancies arose, even just a simple google search brought up articles that mentioned the university she attended may be a scam and that it possibly could be a diploma mill.>>Asha: The school they looked into, Corrlins University, it’s also on our list.>>We were calling the city in California where it was supposedly located and a city council official saying that that university had never even existed, helped piece that together.>>Asha: We tell them about the prof we’re investigating. He’s taught at several top Canadian universities and colleges. And he’s still teaching.>>The main concern for me, if I would be one of those students, what does that say about the degree I have from that university? What does it say about the validity because if the university has this fraudulent professor, who’s to say that there weren’t more?>>Asha: We ask professor Zgrablic repeatedly for an on-camera interview. He maintains his degree from Almeda is legitimate. And he did do 11 phone exams to complete his Masters. So why can’t we speak with you?>>Asha: You don’t want to speak to us on camera at all to talk about your Masters and why you attended this school that is linked to a diploma mill scheme?>>Asha: So we follow up with Seneca college. We’re hoping you’ll reconsider an interview to discuss this. But they won’t talk on camera either. They say they have processes in place to vet their employees credentials. And weeks after we contact Zgrablic, he removes Almeda University from his LinkedIn profile. Retired FBI agent Allen Ezell says that’s not good enough.>>What signal are they sending the other faculty members and their students? They must set the example. If they’re not going to vet their own people, who in the heck is? That’s 1,000% unacceptable. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: Where do all these fake degrees come from? The paper trail leads to Pakistan.>>Asha: This insider tells all. This is your Marketplace. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: Get more Marketplace. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at CBC.ca/Marketplace.>>Asha: The real deal on fake schools. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: We’ve uncovered more than 800 Canadians who could have fake degrees from hundreds of fake online schools. I’ve been noticing that some of the school’s websites look pretty similar. When we dig a little deeper, a pattern emerges.>>I’m on Baychester right now and just looking at a picture of the dean here. I’m looking at another school Regent, also a picture of the dean who has the same photo, same name and same write-up on both schools.>>Asha: Turns out, the faculty at some of these schools are just stock photos used on multiple websites. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: And many of those schools track back to one major company in Pakistan. Axact, the largest international diploma mill scheme out there.>>The magnitude will blow your mind, I mean, really. It makes a volcano look small. We’re talking probably grossing a billion dollars a year, 35 bank accounts in 19 countries.>>Asha: Axact denies any involvement in the scheme and tells us they don’t condone any alleged fraud by these fake schools. But we track down a man on the inside. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: A sales agent working out of this Axact office in Islamabad a number of years ago. He’s asked us to conceal his identity due to safety concerns.>>Asha: He was the first point of contact for many people buying their degrees. His pitch –>>Asha: He says he quit because he didn’t agree with the company’s practices. [ ♪♪ ]>>Asha: The crackdown begins in New York City, where one of the top Axact executives Umar Hamid is being sentenced here today. We’re going in to get the details. The judge spoke directly to Hamid saying there are real victims and they are your victims. In the end, he was sentenced to 21 months in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Then he’ll be deported back to Pakistan. He was also ordered to forfeit over $5 million for his role in the scheme. This conviction wasn’t enough to stop Axact. Fake schools are still up and running. But our story doesn’t end here. We will be following this in the months to come. [ ♪♪ ]>>Fasten your seat belts. Is your car dealership ripping you off?>>$1,200 service they were recommending, none of which was needed.>>High pressure sales.>>Felt like he was trying to scare me.>>Plus insider secrets.>>When you’re 100% commission, you don’t have a choice. You live or die by this customer that’s walking in.>>..why you’re recommending service that isn’t required on a vehicle.>>Auto repair rip-offs. You can’t afford to miss this ride. [ ♪♪ ]

100 thoughts on “Fake degrees: Exposing Canadians with phoney credentials (Marketplace)

  1. This is what happens when university is a scam so the scammers are scamming the scammers. To be honest, unless it's a medical degree, most info can be found online and all degrees in general are bogus and the job you are currently doing has nothing to do with your original degree.

  2. The “psychologist” is dangerous. Imagine the lawsuit if the patient committed suicide.

  3. Most of my friends have advanced degrees, BASTARDS!

  4. As a holder of a PhD from a legit university, this depresses me

  5. One easy way to see if the person actually studied and graduated from a college: request the sealed transcript and yearbook. Most likely it does not exist. If they quote you a high price and it is too expensive, go to LinkedIn and start making friends with people who graduated from the same school and year and inquire if they have ever heard of that person. This will be free and most likely not take more than a few days.

  6. But what's the point of that. Even if you get a job you won't be able to do it coz you never learnt how.

  7. watching all the Canadian investigation exposes make me fill like Canada is the real version of the movie "The invention of lying"

  8. Allegory of the Cave surrealism

  9. Thanks for the list, I will grab a degree soon and migrate to us.

  10. Proving you dont need a degree. Better to pay these scammers then the mafia run colleges.

  11. Do employers not check credentials anymore? Simply google the university before offering a job, if in doubt do some research. Alternatively only offer jobs to reputable universities. Finally. Don’t accept foreign qualifications as they are too easily faked.

  12. I feel like real colleges play a part in this too.
    If there wasn't so much emphasis on that piece of paper, people might not stoop this low, and those who do will be easily called out for it.

  13. University of Guelph has a phone number to call to verify name of degree graduates. Anyone who does not know to call the university to verify is silly. Trust nobody especially those from outside Canada

  14. I cannot land a job with 5 legitimate degrees. What''s the point of obtaining any degree??

  15. 🤦🏾‍♂️

  16. It is upsetting to see all these crooks cheating.

  17. In my job, they required not only my original degree, but a transcript sent directly from the University to them for all my classes and grades.

  18. Canada is so scamy.

  19. I graduated from PragerU. The most trustworthy universities are always funded by the Koch brothers.


  21. what the F is a Retired FBI saying anything about Canada? just because they say there school is in the USA?

  22. 20:19 this axat office… Best pun of ever.

  23. why would you do this? did she really ask that question to the dude in the beggining lmao she must be slow motion in the head lmmaoo

  24. Why does that scammer sound Indian accent?

  25. This is why it's so hard for people with actual degrees to find work, its ridiculous and kind of tempting.

  26. Explains so much about the doctors I've been to. Also looks from the map like Manitobans are quite honest.

  27. What I will say for that teacher at Seneca: he did actually have two legitimate universities underneath Almeda: Rijeka and Zagreb in Croatia. So he probably knows what he's talking about. Doesn't change things though.

  28. the retired FBI agent is a pimp….. the tie alone was worth watching ….

  29. I have a degree in Hairology, I did my major in Wig Studies and a minor in the Philosophy of Hat Wearing. Thinking of getting a PHD in the Science of Trump's Scalp Reduction

  30. Real evil people

  31. I have a Bachelor of Art's degree in Political Science and Psychology and studying to get into law school. I believe with some degrees it really depends what you do with it that won't make it useless. I've had internships with law firms. But this is crazy how there are so many university scams like this.

  32. Lori Loughlin and the rest could have saved alot of time and money.

  33. Yikes!! What happened to background checks? For those striving for higher education legitimately, please keep keeping on. It will be worth it in the end.

  34. Did nobody notice that every 'admissions' personnel they spoke with were all Indian?? LOL

  35. I am here to tell you that after almost 20 years of college and with 2 legitimate masters this sickens me to the core of my being!!!!

  36. I need one of these…lol

  37. Knowing that there is a dangerous life in Pakistan, showing different views of the employee who requested to be hidden for safety. I would be able to figure out who the man was.

  38. Awesome, please provide link for the degrees, keen to not study and become a surgeon

  39. I climbed Kilimanjaro a few years ago, a few weeks ago I got my results for 3rd year psychology. Getting out of bed to study is harder than getting out of the sleeping bag and tent at 2am to summit the highest mountain in Africa.

  40. And they say Nigerians are terrible… lol

  41. They're making Doofenshmirtz seem scummy. Dude bought his phd too and he can build single task machines on a seemingly daily basis.

  42. When is there a follow up to this??? We should expel these cheaters and expose them to everyone.

  43. So this is where Jordan Peterson learned about post modern neo-marxists.

  44. So this is where Jordan Peterson learned about post modern neo-marxists.


  46. even our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau got a degree recently from another country… lmfao he bought it!

  47. #MARKETPLACE YALL need to mind your own business and let people do what they want and how they want! Motherfuckers gotta make a living!

  48. You would not forget something like that would you ?

  49. I would not go to an Immigrant Doctor – Dentist – Accountant- too many of them are Frauds – its a way of life where they come from, and the damage they can do is immense, I hope the ones you exposed were put in prison or deported – Persona Non Grata. – " can't remember the name of the university I got my Masters Degree from. DUH

  50. I am struggling to finish my PhD, but those people get their degrees like buying toilet tissues. Some thing is definitely wrong with me.

  51. Love your CBC Marketplace! Keep up the good work in bringing down the cheating business and their people's.

  52. As a Mental Health Counselor in training, this is sickening!

  53. So much different than American bastions of prestige Yale and Harvard…that have never been caught selling admissions to rich powerful people.


  55. They spent money for this? Just learn Photoshop, and you'll be able to do it for free.

  56. Give the guy who said lasagna a break, he actually helped me with fingers part which is very interesting

  57. You guys should have investiged Trump University.

  58. Uh, excuse I have a PhD now. So I would appreciate you addressing me as Doctor J.

  59. 12:26 He's parked in a handicapped space, but doesn't have a permit. I guess he is also faking a disability?

  60. Hello everybody!remember me!

  61. Parents: Son, work smart, not hard!!!

    Me: Finds out about online degrees to avoid 4 years of torture.

    Parents: WTF! Never once in my life did i teach you to do this!

    Me: ………..

  62. College: Pay us until u’re drowning in debts while toruturing ur self for 4 years.

    4 years later…

    Me: Gets a piece of paper and a whole lot of student debt.

    College: NOT A SCAM

  63. What about the 50k in student loans to get worthless paper from Trump University ?

  64. In the US, Obama ruined the entire health care system.

  65. I purchased an IT Degree now i am a an IT expert on system Security branch, but i studied all the Materials by my self 🙂


  67. I have watched so many of these marketplace things and there’s one thing I always see. Every single scammer is a foreigner. Every one. They must love taking advantage of the people who were kind of enough to let them in their country.

  68. Lets expose the corrupt CBC! A healthy democracy doesnt support national propagandists! Defund the Liberals Broadcaster!

  69. scamming is an art .. and marketplace is here to beat the scammer! i love you!

  70. Everyone from India has has two masters degree by the time they are 23, it's why nothing form there is recognized.

  71. yeah, I'd like to get my PhD in interpretive dance and a minor in Quantum Mechanics please

  72. What a world!

  73. In all fairness of the 1st guy, you guys intruded on his business to humiliate this man.

    During the therapy session, metaphors or implications are common methods utilized by physiologist. What psychologist is literal with their patient? That would be an awaiting lawsuit telling a person how to live their life.

    Edit… "Don't propose things of a personal nature" -these are PERSONAL therapy sessions! A viewer who's intellectually would honest realized this is one-sided. How about showing us the questions leading to his response you guys posed.

    You guys belittle the person to build a case against their degree, which has nothing to do with credibility. Eventhough I have made it all the way through, attempt this with a person with stature, capitalizing off deteriorating small people without context show yall lack of integrity

  74. I must say as a seanior

  75. Capella University = Beware

  76. I’ve made those same mistakes online but at the same time I say no I don’t want college nor university and I ain’t paying my credit card 💳 because I already have a job and I spend too much time on my iPhone 📱

  77. Lol man this is do mess up goodness grace.

  78. Goodness grace this is so messed up.

  79. bloomex flower is scam too. There are companies who operate like this

  80. Only in Pakistan.

  81. Anyone know about Nixion University who's motto is "I am not a crook"? lol

  82. It just reinforces my opinion that a piece of paper isn’t the best way to chose employees. My stepdad created a very successful business having never finished the 6th grade. There is so much to be said for self education!

  83. They probably wanted to go to Canada because they didn’t want to expose their friends haha

  84. This makes me upset. Especially the therapists. That’s pretty raunchy.

  85. It's freaking fraud .Lock them fcks up….

  86. Super cool thanks for the heads up, off to spend my kids college fund (all but $1800) Fiji here we come!

  87. I would ask for a refund since the GPA was 3.92 and not 4.00.

    Also, was there a follow up video?

  88. … I need to buy one …

  89. Is there a database for doctors? A doctor I had for a few years went inactive this year but is still in clinic

  90. If someone has a degree in biblical counselling then alarm bells are already sounding.

  91. Why you doing Mr. Ojo like that?

  92. Good job for getting the true.

  93. It's basically the same thing as regular university: you have to pay for a degree, only without having to wait several years through classes. Canada almost needs this due to the shortage of skilled labor.

  94. Lolol this how Kim K became a lawyer 😂

  95. Most employers verify with the school anyway.

  96. If a Mohammed answers the phone, guaranteed scam

  97. I wish life was that simple getting degrees with only $1,500, instead of wasting time and minimum 4 yrs with pitiful education that has no use on the work place.

  98. Epidemic…

    Did you know that an MIT professor lied about her qualifications and it only took 35 years for her to be exposed. A doctor purchased a medical degree when in fact they dropped out of a biology degree prior to graduating…they didn't even have a degree.

    Personally I think that these people should be forced to pay back everything they were paid because it was deception. It's actually illegal. Imagine if you were to lie to a bank to obtain a mortgage or some other type of loan, you'd be held to account and pursued in court. But more importantly these people who lied have denied legitimately qualified people the jobs that they fraudulently obtained.

  99. Why even mess with these people? These guys don’t even look rich…

  100. "Let me open the door," he fled through the door.  What a scam.  This guy needs to be flogged.

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