How Can You Tell If a Diploma Is Real? (And Other Important Questions!)

If you’re looking at a diploma and wondering if it’s real or not – you’re either doing something wrong or the fake is just that good. 

In any case, spotting a fake is pretty simple. So let’s learn how to do exactly that. 

In this article, we will cover a seven-step process for telling if a diploma is fake or not. 

Keep reading to surprise or assure yourself in the integrity of the diploma.

1. Verify Institution

So the first step is to verify the institution presented on the diploma. Degree mills try to present themselves as real institutions, and they create specifically tailored content-verbose websites that make it look like a real school. 

They will also post fake testimonials to impress visitors and link various webpages in the structure. Nonetheless, it’s not that difficult to tell if the institution is a real university, college, or high school – because nowadays we have social media. 

If you ever wanted to apply for a specific university, you would type in the name in Google, and the results would help you if they are real or not. The students will be talking, sharing, etc – and the presence cannot simply be disproven.

2. Embossed Seal

Real diplomas and certificates from education institutions usually have embossed/gold seals on the front. Some places prefer to use thermographic or multi-colored seals. No matter what type of seal it is – the seal is a generation old tradition and is prevalent on all diplomas. 

Nowadays, even forges have seals, but it’s still a good idea to take a look. Some sloppy forges simply have a printed on an image of the seal, and lack the texture and shape of a real sea. 

If you don’t see a seal at all, that’s a bad sign. 

3. Actual Ink Signatures

Another thing to determine on a diploma is the type of signature. Diploma mills will never use ink in signatures and simply print it on digitally.

Real academic institutions have each degree or diploma assigned to a faculty member who signs their name in real ink. But even then – fake ink can be made to look like real ink.

4. Spelling Errors

Oddly enough, most fake certificates have spelling errors. Perhaps, on purpose or just because their English is not up to par. In any case, the presumption is that these diploma mills are run by people with poor education, and non-native language abilities. 

Make sure to detect spelling mistakes, because those are definitely a sign of a forged diploma. However, it’s a good idea to cross-compare with somebody else’s diploma from the same institution, because it might be a printing error. 

If anything, that makes for a good story. 

5. Hologram Watermarks

Another sign of a fake certificate is the lack of a hologram watermark. These are very important and used as authenticators for the integrity of a document. Hell, even money has them. 

When bringing the diploma up to the light, you should see the reflection of a watermark. If you don’t, that’s a problem. Some watermarks cannot be seen under regular lighting conditions, so you will need to use an ultra-violet source of light instead. 

6. Address & Names

The next step is to verify the address & names listed on the document. If you’ve already verified the institution, you might have neglected the address – so make sure those line up with the information provided online. 

If possible, go check out the address yourself. You never know what you might find. But if you can’t do that, your next best bet is to use Google Maps, Google Street View, or something similar. 

Another thing to consider is the existence of the people on the document. The person who signed the diploma might not even exist at that institution. So give them a call and find out. And if the person does exist but seems shady, ask them about the nearest landmarks or personal information about that specific city. 

7. Check the Date 

Finally, check the date of commencement listed on the document. If it matches up with the age and simply makes sense – then you’re probably fine. But if you go online, and find out that the school was not accepting students during that time frame or something along those lines, you should be cautious. 

Additional Points of Consideration

All of the information above is more than enough to help you out, but here are some additional points of interest to consider:

  1. Print marks on paper
  2. Paper quality
  3. University/College/School printed at the wrong spot
  4. Degree abbreviations used
  5. Ink and font inconsistent throughout 

Well, that’s about it. 

A Phony Diploma Done Right

Now that you know how to tell a fake forge of a diploma from a real one. You are well on your way too intimidating those who boast their fake education. 

In any case, phony diplomas can be done right, and practically indistinguishable from the real thing. And they can serve a great purpose as well. A diploma can get ripped, wet, or lost. So the idea of getting an exact replica is something to wish for. 

But it is no longer a wish, it is a possibility. With us (PhonyDiploma) – you can get a quality replica that will look just like the one you need to replace with a few exceptions. We use real seals, high-quality paper, watermarks, among other things to make documents you can be proud to display in place of your original. 

Get in touch with us and we will gladly accommodate your needs from anywhere in the world! 

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