Digital Certificates

How To Spot a Fake College Transcript or a Fake Highscool Diploma?


Digitalization has undoubtedly made life easy not only speaking of everyday life but also in terms of sustainability. 

Today, more and more schools, universities, and educational institutions are issuing online certificates and microcredentials rather than printing out diplomas. And why not? It’s a great way to reduce carbon footprint. Institutions around the globe have made it a part of their sustainability policy in a bid to have a better, prosperous future. But, as they say, where there is good, there is bad! With printed diplomas now a thing of the past, many fake college transcripts are circulating in the market. 

Fake high school diplomas and certificates are becoming a serious problem today. Fake universities and institutions offering these diplomas for high fees are ruining the chances of genuine diploma holders. People are getting jobs, enrolling in higher universities, and doing whatnot! Numerous sites providing diplomas in 24 hours show up on search engines. This shows how fast this market is growing. Yikes 😬

But don’t worry! Sertifier, a digital credential platform, has made it a piece of cake for you to differentiate between a fake college transcript, high school diploma, and degree. 

Check out the Certificate Design

Certificate Design Section Image

A professional-looking diploma will be well-designed and simple and have a barcode, online badge, name and date of the issuing institution, etc. A fake diploma is usually overboard with the design. Gaudy-looking borders, font, and will lack information. They try and cover it up with designs, so your focus shifts away from what’s necessary. A way of fooling an onlooker!

Many fonts and styles are outdated, but fake diploma makers might not be aware of all the changes. Only a well-established institution would know what new guidelines and rules have come as they are the creators. They can either hire a professional to give them a template or use Word and create themselves with online badges and stamps all intact. So if you’re looking for ways how to create a certificate in Word, check out our blog. So, if you see a Canterbury style or Gothic font, that’s the red line.

Hire Agencies to Check Diploma Authenticity

Many well-reputed agencies specialize in quickly differentiating between a fake and a genuine diploma or a qualification certificate. With experts in the field, they make a thorough analysis to prove whether a document is fake or original. 

Many companies and organizations hiring employees ask their candidates to hand over their credentials so they can get them checked. It especially stands valid in the case of online certificates. So, it’s more complicated to not get caught. The best bet is to stay away from fake institutions promising microcredentials.

What Does the Certificate Say?

Today, institutions prefer clear-cut language to define the credentials of a student. In most fake college transcripts, diplomas, and online certificates, you’ll see a ton of voice on certificates either ancient (medieval, to be precise) or too informal.

So, if you are trying to distinguish between a fake or an original credential, strike it off if you see flashy fonts.

Does it Have a Verifiable Online Badge?

Verifiable Online Badge Section Image

One of the major differences between a fake college transcript and an original one is the online badge. This badge has to be verifiable, proving the authenticity of a digitally-generated certificate. If you see a fishy-looking badge, no barcode, or cannot verify the credentials despite multiple attempts, that is a fake diploma.

Institution’s Background Check

Another telltale sign of whether the certificate is fake is to check the issuing authority’s website, domain, or anything related. Even location if need be. 

You will be surprised at the level fraudsters can go. Oftentimes, the so-called institutions offering certified courses are located at traffic poles. Funny but true! 

Once you visit the website, check for the programs mentioned in the certificate. If you don’t find so, you know it is a fake college transcript. You can also make use of forensics in identifying and tackling fraud. Experts examine credential fraud by evaluating the document from start to finish. Several groups and organizations are running under the government hosting training workshops and sessions on fraud detection using forensics. 

Don’t Forget to Check the Location

Location Image

When you see a certificate issued by a foreign university, it is obvious that such certificates will be hard to verify. But look for a postal address and contact information. 

Check that location online and call, if required, the concerned institution. It is critical to be absolutely sure that the institution exists and is not fake.

Having said that, the verification should go beyond just calling the institution. The reason is that many of these fake organizations may even have people answering their phones to scam people. Check the given address on  Google Maps. Also, do look it up using Street View to see the building and be sure if such an institution exits.


The above are the most basic steps that can help you understand whether a certificate is fake. Small details play a great role. Do not miss any telltale signs. With digitalization, committing fraud has become easy. Fake college transcripts are available easily today. Those trying to cheat and looking for shortcuts to bag jobs and enroll in institutions look for easy ways. Today, a fake certificate can be on your doorstep in just a matter of 24 hours.

But, no matter how smooth a certificate is, a fake one will always have a flaw, so keep an eagle’s eye.  Use the right channels to differentiate between fake and original credentials.

If you want to save yourself from the trouble, consider hiring a professional. They have all the tricks to figure out quickly a fake college transcript.  

Be smart and do not leave any stone unturned. Check the location and make sure to see the street view. Scammers and fraudsters can go to any level unimagined to prove the authenticity of the fake certificate.

Begüm Avcı

Hi there! I'm Begum, the Marketing Manager at Sertifier! In addition to trying to reach more people with Sertifier's creative solutions daily.

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