Everyone goes crazy for college. 19.4 million students attended American colleges in the fall of 2020. That number accounts for more than 5% of the population.
You can join them without ever stepping foot in a classroom. You can get a fake college degree that looks just like theirs. Yet you should be mindful of the law.
Is it illegal to buy or use a fake diploma? What are some legitimate reasons to buy a diploma? When do you get into legal trouble for using one?
Answer these questions and you can decide whether you want a diploma or not. Here is your quick guide.
Buying a Fake Diploma
There is nothing illegal about buying a fake diploma in and of itself. Lawmakers recognize that there are legitimate reasons to buy a diploma from a diploma maker. Someone may want to buy a diploma for a practical joke or a gift for someone else.
The First Amendment may protect the creation of fake diplomas as freedom of speech. If someone has the right to lie, they also have the right to create a fake document.
Using a Diploma as a Prop
You can use a diploma as a prop for any creative work. If you are shooting a movie and you need to make a character seem smart, you can place a diploma on their wall.
You can create a fake diploma from Harvard or another illustrious university. But you may run into a couple of legal problems if you do so.
If you put a college’s logo on your diploma, you may violate their copyright protections. Don’t use a logo or any trademarked property. Use the name and don’t put the diploma into focus.
If you disparage the college, they may file a defamation case. Don’t include any dialogue that makes fun of or critiques a real institution.
When in doubt, make up a fake college and put it on the diploma. Don’t use any variations of a real college’s name, such as “Harard.” Harvard can still claim that you are defaming them.
Replacing a Lost Diploma
You can also buy a fake diploma to replace a real one you have lost. Yet you should follow a guide for replacing your diploma from college. You want to duplicate your old document without violating your school’s copyright or making mistakes.
Take a look at your photos and see if you have one with you holding your diploma up. You should give the photo to the diploma maker and get them to make you a duplicate.
If you can’t find a photo, you can contact the office of the registrar at your college. They may be able to send you the template for your diploma.
You can also give them your duplicate and tell them to place real signatures and stamps on it. This will make your diploma more authentic, and you may be able to use it as an original.
Even if you get signatures, you may want to avoid using your diploma as a document. An employer may think your diploma is fake.
Use other documents to prove your graduation status. You can show them your academic transcript or a letter from your college indicating that you graduated.
Boosting Your Reputation With a Diploma
It is not illegal to buy a fake college degree from a degree maker, even if you did not go to college. You start to break the law when you use the fake degree to advance your life in some way.
You are not necessarily breaking the law by bragging to a friend about a fake degree. But the friend you tell may go to someone and try to get you a job. It is illegal to get a job with a fake degree.
If your friend finds out that you lied to them, they may break off ties with you. They may have grounds for a civil suit if you used your degree to get a loan or equipment from them.
Do not post photographs of your diploma on social media. Do not say that you graduated from a school you did not attend, even as a joke.
Using a Fake College Degree to Get a Job
A diploma mill is an institution that provides fake academic degrees for a fee. You may be tempted to buy a fake college degree from them to bolster your resume.
This is a terrible idea. If your employer finds out that you have a fake degree, you will get fired. You may be charged with fraud, especially if you got a job in the medical sector.
Try to get a real degree yourself by taking online courses and going to a community college. You can earn an associate degree with just two years of studying.
Diploma mills are not the same as diploma makers. Mills claim to be legitimate academic institutions. Makers advertise themselves openly as companies that make fake diplomas.
Staying Within the Bounds of the Law
You don’t break the law when you buy a fake college degree. There is nothing wrong with buying one as a prop for a movie or a replacement for an old diploma.
You enter a gray area when you use a fake degree to bolster your credentials. If you try to win friends with a fake degree, you may incur their anger. If you try to get a job with a degree, you risk being charged with fraud.
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