EMPLOYERS are advised to do away with the traditional method of verifying diplomas and other important documents as producing fake college degrees is easier with tecThnology.
Edufied CEO and Founder Ryan Soh, in an interview with the BusinessMirror, said around 3,000 fake universities and 300 web sites are churning out fraudulent documents globally. A simple online search will reveal a list of said suppliers of counterfeit diplomas, he added.
“The world works according to supply and demand principles. If there are people looking to buy fake documents, there will always be sources of supply to meet these demands,” the official of the Singapore-based education consultancy firm added.
The advancements in technology are only making this decades-, if not centuries-old concern more pressing as the documents being produced can look just like the originals, making them even more deceiving, he added.
“With high-tech equipment, one can easily replicate the unique watermarks or hologram stickers or special papers and any other sort of identifying mark,” he said.
Purchasing fake documents have become rampant, he said, especially because one can obtain a counterfeit college diploma with an accompanying transcript like a “fast-food combo meal.”
Soh noted that shipping or delivery of such documents is also done easily. “These documents can be purchased from anywhere worldwide and delivered to your doorstep,” he said.
Employers may potentially deal with some repercussions if they wrongfully hired applicants with fake college diplomas, Soh said.
He stressed that academic qualifications are usually related to the skills needed for the job. Hiring potential employees, he explained, also considers their ability to add value to the business operations.
“Can you imagine if an engineer with fake credentials was hired by the company tasked to approve a building’s structural design?” he said.
In addition, the Edufied chief said there can also be legal implications involved.
“There will be a few areas of concern. The first will be safety. Besides having the legal liability of having an employee with fake credentials to sign required government documents or design documents, this approval would jeopardize the public’s safety,” he continued.
Apart from possible legal liabilities, Soh explained that said incidents, should they happen, will also lead to business losses. Such can then hurt the reputation of the company in the long run, he added.
With this, Soh said there is a need to improve ways of verifying said documents.
“As long as the current way of verifying these documents is still conducted the old traditional method of calling or emailing, there will always be a gap between issuance and verification,” he said.
Soh explained that each record published on the Edufied network has a specific digital signature on the blockchain that cannot be altered. The QR code on each document directs the employer who wants to validate the document to the blockchain record to decrypt the information.
Edufied is finalizing discussions with the De La Salle University System to use the firm’s services for all its schools and affiliated educational institutions. In the Philippines, Edufied’s technology licensee is FilPass Tamperproof Tech Inc., which is 100-percent locally owned.
Soh said that PHINMA Education and AMA Education are the early adopters of the company’s technology, implementing them last year. It also has several local distributors, including VST ECS, Crayon, White Label, Seaversity and CTI.
“As the market starts to accept the use case of blockchain in the education industry, confidence from technology partners increases,” he said.
The Edufied founder said they are also developing a system for a government agency to issue digital IDs and digital wallets. “This will allow all the stakeholders to securely store their credentials, allowing the agency to monitor and manage the skills gap in the industry and provide relevant investments and training to meet the objectives of the country,” he added.