Paying for a diploma? FTC halts alleged fake online school

There are several benefits of having a high school diploma. From getting a better job, applying for college, and being eligible for the military. But did you know there is such thing as a diploma mill? What some may think is a real program to earning their diploma, can turn out to be just a scam.

The Federal Trade Commission has recently stopped two alleged fake online high schools that charged from $135 to $349 for a certificate.

According to the FTC, Capitol Network Distance Learning Programs and Stepping Stonez Development. promised fast diplomas equivalent to the well-known GED®. The requirements were to take a test and pay the fee for the certificate. Testimonials the business had claimed some had kept their jobs or got new dream jobs with the diplomas they received.

However, the program had no classes, study materials, and homework. It just contained on multiple-choice test on the site. Those who failed to pass were able to take it again, but all answers were highlighted.

The companies, which went by Lincoln High School, Aberdeen Academy, Escuela Capital, and many other names, claimed many different organizations accepted the diploma. When former students of the program tried to use them to enroll in college, apply for jobs, get a promotion, or enlist in the military, they found out they were phony.

Here’s some tips offered by the FTC on how you can spot a diploma mill:

They want you to pay for a diploma. It’s ok to pay for classes or testing — but you shouldn’t pay for just a diploma.

You can get the diploma from home, ASAP. If you can earn the diploma without taking any classes or in-person tests, it’s a scam.

They claim to be affiliated with the federal government. The federal government doesn’t regulate high school equivalency diploma programs. Each state decides what high school equivalency tests and programs are approved there.

For more information on high school diploma scams, click here.