10 Smart Ways To Identify A Fake Online Course. Online scams are a fact of life. They are on the rise now because covid-19 has forced a lot of people to do things online. no matter how smart you are, you can fall prey to scammers because they reinvent old scams and present them in seemingly legitimate ways. However with due diligence, you can avoid becoming a victim to the latest online scam.
1. No Accreditation
You should only apply for an online degree at a university that is accredited. This means that the university has been validated by an agency or the Ministry of Education in that particular country.
2. Asking For Full Payment At One Go
The university asking you to fork out for your entire tuition before you start is another major red flag. You should never be asked to pay the entire tuition fees upfront. Real online programs typically offer several payment options; some even take into account the student’s financial capability.
3. Easy Enrollment
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Since fake online degrees are just scams to get your money, the institution will try to persuade you that it’s easy to enroll and earn a degree so you will be tempted to apply and pay the fees.
4. Earning The Degree Seems Fast and Easy
Prospective students should hear warning bells as soon as they are told they can get a degree without much time or effort. Most people want University degrees, but not all of us qualify. If the course doesn’t much of your previous educational background, do thorough research.
5. There Is Pressure or Incentives to Enroll
Prospective students should watch out for high-pressure sales pitches from recruiters. If the advisers or counselors sound more like salespeople who are more interested in pressure for enrollment than discussing academic programs and outcomes, that’s a red flag.
6. Duration of The Course
While online degree programs do have flexible schedules and learn-at-your-own-pace set-up, they still demand a significant amount of time and effort to accomplish the coursework. Realistically, has anyone really earned a college degree in such a short span of time? If an online program gives you the impression of instant results, you need to jump to your next option.
7. Fishy Contact Details On The website
Not having proper contact information is another red flag, as reputable colleges and universities will have various ways to contact them if you’d like to request further information. Students should check both the physical and web address of an online institution to gauge its legitimacy.
8. The Name Is Prestigious and Familiar
Sometimes programs will steal a renowned name and modify it just a little bit. Some even fabricate faculty names and credentials. If you come across, a school with a name like Harvard Technological University, you might want to do more research to ensure the program is legitimate.
9. Dodgy Activities On The Website
Advertisements appear on the website promoting products and services unrelated to education (legitimate universities don’t post advertisements on their websites).
10. No Evidence of Student Services
Legitimate online programs should have a host of resources available to students, including technology support, academic advising and library services, experts say. If prospective students don’t see evidence of those resources, or if they can’t speak to other staff members, then they should be suspicious.