New graduates are being warned of the dangers of posting selfies with their degree certificates on social media.
The photos would be a “counterfeiter’s paradise”, providing an opportunity for fraudsters to copy the latest university logos, crests, signatories, stamps, holograms and wording, fuelling a multimillion-pound industry.
Graduate careers expert Prospects manages the Hedd Degree Fraud Service, and has issued the warning as the graduation period gets under way.
It is advising graduates to cover up any identifying details on their degree certificates before taking photos to stop the creation of forgeries.
Chris Rea, who manages Prospects Hedd, said: “Graduation day is one of the proudest events in any student’s life and naturally, they’ll want to document it and show-off their degree on social media.
“Unfortunately this is a counterfeiter’s paradise. Sophisticated, high-pixel cameras mean that every detail of your degree certificate will be visible.
“Fraudsters need only to look through graduation hashtags to find hundreds of reference points.
“Fake certificates are commonly sold online for a few pounds and can be passed off as genuine to unwitting employers.
“Checking degree qualifications with the awarding university or Hedd service is the only way to determine if a candidate has the credentials they claim. It’s in everyone’s interest to verify.”
Hedd is UK Higher Education’s official service for candidate verification and university authentication.
Prospects has launched a toolkit to support students who may be worried about degree fraud, which is a multimillion-pound industry spanning fake universities, forged degree certificates, essay mills and CV lies.