Thursday, December 31, 2009

High-Tech Cheating

High-Tech Cheating
Dr. Harryette Mullen worries that the Internet is making it too easy for students to cheat themselves out of an education. Mullen, an associate professor of English at the University of California-Los Angeles, says the growing presence of "term paper mill" Web sites on the Internet is a cause for great concern.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Competing to Catch Plagiarizers

Inside Higher Ed Mobile
As technology makes it easier for students to cheat on exams or plagiarize papers, there has been no shortage of technology meant to deter and catch students who use cell phones, iPods and Google for a little extra help. Turnitin and SafeAssignment are the two dominant technologies for comparing students' submissions to databases of millions of student papers, articles and Web sites. But the educational software company Blackboard is today creating a new service, sort of -- releasing SafeAssign, a repackaged version of MyDropBox's SafeAssignment that will come pre-installed in future versions of the Blackboard Learning System, the leading course management software in the market. Institutional subscriptions for Turnitin cost 87 cents per student annually, SafeAssign is free for the 2,200 institutions that have Blackboard enterprise accounts, an added service for subscribers. Turnitin offers a plug-in that allows it to be used with Blackboard.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Cash for essays: a moral dilemma

Postgraduate, Student - The Independent
Good news for cash-strapped postgraduates. A new sponsorship scheme is offering up to £10,000 to 40 lucky students from next academic year, plus scholarships to three more. The catch? Well, successful applicants will probably need to spend a few days each month writing about their areas of academic interest. They'll need a confirmed or expected 2:1 or above from Oxford or Cambridge. And, according to their Alma Maters, they'll need questionable morals - or at least morals that don't ask too many questions.

Monday, December 28, 2009

180 steered to illegal 'doctor'

Shanghai Daily | 上海日报 -- English Window to China New
SIX members of a ring of illegal medical agents have been arrested for allegedly defrauding some 500,000 yuan (US$73,206) from more than 180 victims by steering them to an unlicensed doctor, Hongkou District prosecutors said yesterday. Prosecutors said these suspects did more harm than the usual scalpers who lure patients to high-cost private medical institutions, because they took their victims to an illegal clinic.

Another bad lesson in Freehold Regional district | Asbury Park Press
Teacher consultant Lorraine Taddei-Graef has appealed the district school board's decision to reduce her salary and ban her from using or making reference to her doctorate degree from Breyer State University, an unaccredited online school that has been labeled a diploma mill. Taddei-Graef is going to court, claiming that any punishment she got for procuring a phony Ph.D. and using it to secure more money was "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable." Is she kidding? The state Commission of Higher Education ruled that four district employees with Breyer State degrees could not use their doctoral titles. Why? Because the degrees were bogus. And if they were bogus, they shouldn't be entitled to the $2,500 salary bump accorded those with legitimate doctorates.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

York launches degree verification website
York University has launched “YU Verify,” an online service that will verify whether a person received a degree from York. To use the site, employers, immigration officials, and others need either a student number or basic information, such as a first and last name. The website’s launch follows a Toronto Star investigation last December, which uncovered a former York student’s fraudulent degree service. Peng Sun was creating near-perfect copies of York degrees for $3,000. He also sold copies of transcripts that were indistinguishable from the real thing, on watermarked paper and with the university’s logo.

Friday, December 25, 2009

180 steered to illegal 'doctor'

Six members of a ring of illegal medical agents have been arrested for allegedly defrauding some 500,000 yuan (US$73,206) from more than 180 victims by steering them to an unlicensed doctor, Hongkou District prosecutors said yesterday. Prosecutors said these suspects did more harm than the usual scalpers who lure patients to high-cost private medical institutions, because they took their victims to an illegal clinic. As a result, the gang led by Chen Xinjin, a local man in his 50s, will face a criminal charge of fraud, not fines, prosecutors said.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Title Fight: US Academics Harassed over 'False' Credentials

SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
German authorities have harassed American scholars for using the “Dr.” title. It seems Nazi-era laws reserved this distinction for holders of European degrees. But German officials as well as academic directors have moved to quash the scandal.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Entire-paper plagiarism caught by software

Nature News
When Eric Le Bourg, a French biogerontologist, came across a paper in a Korean journal recently, he almost fell off his chair; the entire article — text and graphs included — had been taken from one of his earlier articles. "It was plagiarism from beginning to end," he says.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hartford Courant accused of plagiarism

Business Litigation | JusticeNewsFlash Release
Hartford, CT—The country’s oldest newspaper in continuous publication, the Hartford Courant, was accused of plagiarism in a recent lawsuit filed by another Connecticut newspaper. The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, Connecticut, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 in the Connecticut Superior Court in Hartford, as reported by the New York Times.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Scam artist whose ads promised government grants pleads guilty, gets $500,000 fine, prison

Consumer Affairs with Sheryl Harris - - -
For years, Joel A. Freedman bilked thousands of people by promising to help them get government grants and benefits. The ads targeted the gullible. They ran in the sorts of tabloids that report on the comings and goings of celebrities and extra-terrestrials. Freedman's ads said he could help people get "government entitlements" for between $10 and $20, and he often claimed he'd helped thousands of people do the same, even though it wasn't true.  People who sent in their money got a questionnaire and then were told they needed to pay an additional $75 or so for an analysis to match them with government funds. U.S. postal inspectors caught up with Freedman last year and charged him with mail fraud. He pleaded guilty to eight counts.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Study says teens believe lying and cheating required to succeed | The Reno Gazette-Journal
Teenagers and young adults are more cynical than people 40 and older, with the younger generation more likely to believe it is necessary to lie or cheat to succeed, according to a study on high school character and adult conduct. The study, conducted by the Los Angeles-based Josephson Institute of Ethics, also found that younger generations are more likely to engage in all forms of dishonest conduct than those who are older, and that students who cheated on exams in high school are at least twice as likely to become unethical adults.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Video: Journey to the Center of an Essay Mill

The Chronicle of Higher Education
The term-paper mill of today is a surprisingly sophisticated operation, with the technological infrastructure befitting a sprawling business conducted almost entirely online.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Academic Corruption: Germany Rocked By Allegations of Ph.D. Bribes

SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Investigators in Cologne are looking into whether a company bribed dozens of professors to advance the academic careers of its clients. A number of Ph.D. holders might soon lose their titles, and academics are worried the scandal will put a dent in the reputation of German universities.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

49 disciplined for plagiarism

Otago Daily Times Online News
Almost 50 University of Otago students were disciplined for plagiarism in 2007 and last year, figures supplied by the university show. In 2007, 25 students were found to have copied the work of others in their assignments, and 24 students were found to have done so last year. Plagiarism was regarded as a form of cheating which gave students an advantage over others, and it was taken seriously, academic services director John Price said. Penalties available ranged from a warning, through to exclusion from classes. None of the students dealt with in 2007 or last year was excluded, he said.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Poll: 17 percent of students say they have cheated

The Brown Daily Herald
Four out of five students say they have not committed any of several types of academic cheating in the last semester, according to a recent Herald poll. Of the 687 undergraduates surveyed, 12.4 percent admitted they had copied answers off another student’s homework, while 4.2 percent said they had used outside resources in their own work without proper citation, and 2.3 percent said they had copied answers off another student’s quiz, test or exam. Only 0.4 percent admitted to having submitted someone else’s work as their own in a paper, presentation or lab report.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

9 Investigates: Some Plane Mechanics Not Qualified For Jobs

News Story - WSOC Charlotte
When you fly, whether on a commercial jet or in a small plane, you expect the mechanics who repair and inspect the aircraft to be qualified.

But hundreds of mechanics with questionable credentials may be working on planes across the country, including the Carolinas.

“It raises major questions, and even more so, concern. And that is -- where are they and what planes are they working on?” asked Rep. Gary Simrill.

Simrill, a state legislator from Rock Hill who's also a pilot, is talking about mechanics whose certifications came from two testing companies the Federal Aviation Administration shut down.

Whistle blowers claimed they weren't properly testing mechanics on competency.

"The word spread through the grapevine that if you wanted to get a mechanics certificate, this would be an easy place to do it," said Gabe Bruno, former FAA manager.

The number of suspect mechanics is staggering. About 1,300 mechanics tested at Tobias Aerospace in Texas are now being ordered to be retested by the FAA. More than 1,400 others got their certificates in the late 1990s from a diploma mill called St. George Aviation in Florida.

Monday, December 14, 2009

129 years later, founder might hate us

Emerson, who founded the college in 1880, was an intensely religious man who lived by a strict diet of his own invention. The shrewd and quirky Emerson was a "doctor" who got his "medical" degree from a mail order diploma mill for $25 in 1879, according to Emerson historian and former professor John Coffee. Emerson felt he needed the degree to seem prestigious enough to found his own school. Interesting side note: the college library's Web site lists Emerson as "Dr." claiming he attended medical school in Philadelphia. The library's Executive Director Robert Fleming compiled the dubious timeline when he served as college archivist. Fleming said he stands by his statement that Emerson studied medicine and vagued up the details on whether he actually graduated. "Bottom line, given the nature of the institution from which he received his M.D. degree, let's just be happy that he founded an institution of higher education and not a hospital!" Fleming wrote in an e-mail to The Beacon.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Asli Cavusoglu: Teslim 6 / Delivery 6

Asli Cavusoglu: Teslim 6 / Delivery 6
This thesis is prepared by a thesis writer* that I had contacted through an academic thesis office** in Istanbul. Almost no changes have been made in the text, except for the correction of typographical and grammatical errors.

* One never personally meets the actual thesis writer* due to the security measures taken by the thesis office. You can contact the writer only under the supervision of a staff member from the office, over the phone or in a private chat room where all messages are immediately deleted. In my case, this person was nothing but a voice**.
** Found in large numbers in Turkey, these essay mill offices charge a certain fee to establish contact between you and the person that will write a thesis on any subject you can ever imagine. As they are illegal, there are no company signs outside the offices and they can only be found by asking around.

* It is enough to give this person just the subject of your thesis and the titles of the chapters. This ghostwriter reads all of the source materials that support the thesis, and even the statistics required for the thesis are prepared by the same person. The thesis is delivered to you in 3 to 6 months, depending on its scope.
** The writer asked, “What exactly is this thesis about,” I answered, “Finding something while looking for something else.”

Attorney says sheriff’s words might scuttle settlement with fired deputy

North Central Washington newspaper
England was fired last November after a leaving a prank message on the wrong phone about owning a lot of pistols. Harum since accused him of using a fake diploma to receive higher pay and bypassing a gun-buying waiting period by claiming he was still an officer.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cheating nation

Kyiv Post. Independence. Community. Trust - Nation
Fake university diplomas, drivers licenses and health certificates are becoming common in Ukraine. Getting caught is still the exception, not the rule. Everything is for sale in Ukraine, or so it seems, even privileges that are supposed to be earned: University diplomas, health certificates, drivers licenses.The dishonor roll of people who have claimed bogus degrees or false credentials is gaining nationwide attention as more high-level officials get caught. The scandals have prompted the Interior Ministry to announce it will conduct a broader review of the backgrounds of top-ranking officials, although such a probe has not been started yet. So far, the list of those caught with phony credentials or bogus resumes includes: Andriy Kyslynsky, former presidential aide and deputy head of the State Security Service; Volodymyr Dodatok, a Simferopol city official; and Roman Zvarych, former justice minister. Questions were also raised about the authenticity of presidential candidate Victor Yanukovych’s educational credentials, although one of his allies called the accusation “stupid.”

Friday, December 11, 2009

OHA alleges theft by fake diploma - The Omaha World-Herald: Metro/Region
A 36-year-old Omaha woman is accused of stealing about $14,000 from the Omaha Housing Authority by submitting a forged document. The woman was arrested Wednesday by police on suspicion of felony theft by deception after an OHA investigation indicated that she altered another woman's GED diploma and submitted it as her own to complete a family self-sufficiency program. George Achola, OHA's attorney, said obtaining the diploma is the last step in the program. OHA officials received a tip from another tenant about the altered diploma. Achola said money is put into escrow for participants of the program, which includes cleaning up credit histories, getting employment and not being late on rent payments. Upon completion, participants are given the money to be used as a down payment on a home. Achola said the goal is to help people make the transition from being renters to being good homeowners. The amount of money issued to program participants ranges from a few thousand to $20,000, Achola said. The woman received $13,924 in late September but had not yet used the money to buy a house. According to a police report, the woman paid $2,000 for the diploma that she submitted.

Holy crap! She could have purchased two Doctorate degrees from Suffield University for that much!

Suffield University, buy now!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Freehold Regional staffer wants title back | Asbury Park Press
Teacher consultant Lorraine Taddei-Graef has appealed the district school board's decision to reduce her salary and ban her from using or making reference to her doctorate degree from Breyer State University, an unaccredited online school that has been labeled a diploma mill. Doing so was not only "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable," but also violated her tenure rights, according to a petition submitted by attorney Stephen B. Hunter in January. ... Taddei-Graef had been entitled to annual increases of $2,500 after she
earned her doctorate. She was informed in December that her salary
would be reduced by $1,500 and be based on a master's degree level,
according to her appeal.

Titles earned from diploma mills are illegal to use in the State of NJ, but they want their pay back? You've got to be effing kidding me.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Shin Shreds Reputation of Yale

Shin Jeong-ah, who became a professor at Dongguk University thanks to a fake diploma from Yale University, may be fading from the public's memory. She remains in prison after being sentenced to a year and six months in confinement last year. However, the two universities are still battling over the "mistake" the American university made when Dongguk requested verification of the authenticity of Shin's Ph.D. from the Ivy-league school. Dongguk sued Yale last year, alleging the mistake had significantly damaged its reputation. The Korean school is scheduled to hold a media conference today to announce its stance on the lingering legal battle. Dongguk is seeking $50 million in compensation.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

“I am a Colonel, and I just want to marry your daughter

Ennahar Online
Many victims have paid large sums of money to, either purchase a home, have a job or get an exemption card of national service. Young people have paid cash on fingernail 50 Million cents to a false senior officer in the army for the famous "yellow card". Some of these false senior officers also use this means to get married in the province of Tlemcen, where the gendarmerie national group arrested a false gendarmerie commander in special border police who wanted to convince the family of his fiancee to marry him, since many families dream of marrying their daughters to military officers. According to a report prepared by the communication unit of the command of the gendarmerie, of which Ennahar holds a copy, the phenomenon of false professional identities is in full growth in the society. This is encouraged by citizens, victims of unscrupulous people for whom all means are justified to achieve their nefarious plans.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Truth and Admissions: Former MIT Dean Seeks to Reclaim Her Name

Admissions & Student Aid - The Chronicle of Higher Education
Ms. Jones, former dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, resigned in 2007 after admitting that she fabricated her credentials nearly three decades earlier. She said in a press release that she had lacked "courage" to correct her résumé, which listed degrees from three institutions; she had not graduated from any of them. A roar of publicity followed. Then, the nation's most outspoken admissions dean vanished without a word.

The lesson of express degrees: you get what you pay for

The Slovak Spectator
NO STUDYING, no examinations, no heavy fees, no commuting, no dormitories, no hassle with professors, 100-percent discretion and verifiable qualifications. Just think: someone with a masters or bachelor degree can earn almost $1 million more than a high-school graduate during their lifetime. Call us now for a customised diploma! Cyberspace is loaded with advertisements promising a brighter future for a few hundred or a few thousand bucks. Such ads often leave people wondering: how does this work? Will I get a fake diploma – or a real one, but for fake studies? Slovakia now has its first official “express diploma” scandal with an opposition deputy suggesting that it is only the tip of the iceberg. Certainly, it would be going too far to compare the “customised diploma” ad with what happened at Trenčín University recently, but the case still poses some disturbing questions.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

KPUD perform mistake to admit DPRD head's fake diploma

The Civil Socity Research Foundation (YLPPMM) based in Medan judged municipal KPUD conduct mistakes to admit Senior High School counterfeit diploma belonging to Shaleh Bangun (North Sumatra House Speaker chairman). "Clearly there is a breach in North Sumatra Election Commission (KPUD) screening process, whereas a lot of evidences point toward Shaleh Bangun’s fake diploma," explained Maulana Maududi chairman of YLPPMM to Waspada Online Tuesday (Nov.3). According to him, North Sumatra KPUD and all relevant institutions should continue to investigate the alleged Shaleh Bangun’s fake diploma and immediately withdraw him as North Sumatra DPRD member.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Woman gets probation for ID theft that netted her free power from PPL
Danika Smith, 33, of Allentown was also ordered by Lehigh County Judge Kelly L. Banach on Monday to perform 25 hours of community service and pay $2,273 in restitution to her three victims. Smith was sentenced immediately after pleading guilty to three counts of identity theft. Upper Saucon Township police arrested Smith in September. The investigation began in June when township resident Marie Sutera-Wendells reported to police that she received an electric bill for $430 for an apartment at Smith's Fifth Street address on an account opened between April and September 2008.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Identity Theft Is the Top Crime Worry
A recent opinion poll reveals that identity theft has become America's top-ranked crime concern, coming in ahead of 11 other types of crimes. The annual Crime Survey, conducted by Gallup in early October, reports that 66 percent of respondents said they worried "frequently" or "occasionally" about being the victim of identity theft. This marks the first time that identity theft has appeared in the top spot on the survey, eclipsing concerns about being burglarized or murdered. Gallup noted that although some cases of identity theft may be fixed quickly, stories of identity restoration taking months or years may have had an impact on why the crime vaulted to the top spot in the poll.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Feds Charge Eight In $9 Million RBS Debit Card Hack

Security - IT Channel News by CRN
Federal officials indicted eight individuals who allegedly stole more than $9 million in less than 12 hours by illegally accessing payroll debit card information from credit card processor Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) WorldPay in Atlanta last November. Altogether, the eight individuals were accused of wire fraud, computer fraud, access device fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy, according to the 16-count indictment filed Tuesday in Atlanta. The alleged hackers, originating from Russia, Estonia and Moldova, were able to bypass encryption technologies used to protect customer data on RBS payroll debit cards as they were being processed and then raised the limits on the compromised accounts. Hacker ring organizers then dispatched "cashers" with a total of 44 counterfeit payroll debit cards, which were used to withdraw more than $9.5 million in 12 hours from more than 2,100 ATMs in at least 280 cities including the Ukraine, Italy, Hong Kong, as well as the U.S. on Nov. 8, 2008.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Police arrest fake doctor

Fiji Times Online
POLICE in the Western Division have arrested a man who pretended to be a doctor and operated an illegal surgery from his home. Deputy Director Police Operations Superintendent Erami Raibe said they received information from concerned members of the public regarding the operations of the man who claimed to be a doctor at Nalovo, Nadi, and acted on it. A team of police officers raided the house belonging to a 55-year-old man who was suspected to be impersonating a doctor.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Fake Diplomas Awarded to 12,000 Teachers in Central China

Epoch Times
At least 12,000 teachers in China’s Hubei Province received “fake” diplomas which are not recognized nationwide, but only within Hubei Province. Li Ping (an alias) began a teaching job in Shenzhen in May, only to lose it when her employer was unable to verify her degree on the Web site designated for such inquiries by the Ministry of Education (MOE), according to a Nov. 19 report by state-run People’s Daily. Li is only one of a total of 12,000 primary and middle school teachers in Hubei who paid 4, 000 yuan (approximately US$590) to take the same online diploma program, a program provided by the college between 2000 and 2002 and sponsored by the Hubei Provincial Department of Education.

Issuing fake uni degrees should be a crime

Education - NZ Herald News
An American authority on university degrees wants New Zealand to make it a crime to issue or purchase unapproved educational qualifications, after putting New Zealand on its list of countries that churns out "fake" degrees. The Oregon Office of Degree Authorisation has named four institutions it says are operating out of New Zealand - Presscott University, University of Honiara, University of Honorius and the University of Newlands - as being either degree mills or lacking in any authority to issue degrees.

NSW unveils new ID theft laws

The Australian
THE NSW government plans to create three new identity offences - trafficking in identity data, possession with intent to commit a crime, and possession of equipment for the purpose of identity theft - in an overhaul of the state's Crimes Act. The new laws will apply to offences committed offline and online. The most serious offence, trafficking - the sale or use of personal identification information - will carry a penalty up of to 10 years in jail, while the penalties for possession of information and possession of equipment are seven and three years' jail, respectively. Attorney-General John Hatzistergos said the legal changes will allow police to target criminals trading in personal data for the purpose of fraud; at the same time, the penalty for serious fraud will double from five to 10 years' in prison. "Under the new laws, it will be an offence to use everyday devices such as scanners, printers and laminators to produce fake identity documents," Mr Hatzistergos said.