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Counterfeit certificates take cyber route

Chethan Kumar & Nivedita Niranjankumar, May 20, 2013, DHNS:

Counterfeit certificates now come for a fee online. Exploiting the hidden havens of the virtual world, touts are taking to the web to offer their services, ranging between Rs 1,500 and Rs 60,000, or more.

Some claim they have tie-ups with several educational institutions and their “products” won’t be sniffed if verified by authorities as “all documents are backed-up by telephonic/physical verification.”

Online sites like Quikr, adoos.in, among others, display advertisements offering fake certificates for BA, BSc, LLB and PGDCA courses, besides other certificates pertaining to employment, like offer letters, promotion letters et al. CID Karnataka DIG Soumendu Mukherjee says: “We are looking into the matter. A investigation will be launched at a later stage.” Another senior official conceded they had no clue about such operations.

“Most operations happen without direct physical interaction, sometimes, there is not even a telephone call made. It becomes difficult to trace the persons or firm,” T Vinothkumar, police officer working in Tamil Nadu Cyber Cell said.

Variety in services

Brazen advertisements are proof that virtual world is a safer place.

One such “service provider” has an advertisement, offering ‘foolproof’ work experience documents, offer letter, tax deducted at source (TDS) certificates and payslips to clients in any City across the country. Besides, the “package” includes, relieving letter, bonus letter, increment letter, promotion letter, work experience letter, documents of Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA)-registered companies/non-MCA registered companies, et al. The sites even have ads for “backdated certificates” for all streams.

The sellers list their email id and ask customers to contact them with details needed on certificate.

Delhi Police Additional DCP S D Mishra said: “We will conduct thorough investigation to identify the modus-operandi, to help prevent people from being cheated.”

Hyderabad Assistant Commissioner of Police K Chitti Babu pointed out the challenges faced while investigating such matters.

The story doesn’t end here. In addition to such sites, there are websites like diplomacompany.in dedicated to selling fake certificates from different colleges and universites. The site also has “sample” page where customers can see their “past work”.

This website with dedicated India page also provides certificates to international universities.


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