Leading fraud expert warns of posting exam certificate selfies online

Students receiving their GCSEs tomorrow are being warned not to share images of their exam certificates online.

Over the last couple of months, many degree and A level students who’ve been denied the usual graduation and prom celebrations have instead taken to social media to innocently share selfies with their exam certificates to celebrate their success.

But leading expert, Robert Brooker, warns that fraudsters can find these images online using hashtags such as #exams, #degree or #GCSE. The fraudsters then use the information on the certificates to create fake certificates that can be bought for as little as £7 on the internet.

Robert Brooker, Head of Fraud and Forensic at PKF Geoffrey Martin and Chair of the London Fraud Forum said:

“It’s completely understandable that students want to share their success, particularly when this year it's been much harder to celebrate with friends and family due to coronavirus. What might seem a completely innocent activity, sharing images of certificates, is playing into the hands of fraudsters. It’s really important to keep personal data secure to avoid being a victim of identity fraud. The same thing applies to sharing images of passports or driving licences online as it does to exam certificates.”

He added:

There’s a staggering number of fake certificates being sold online and exam certificate fraud is only the tip of the identify-fraud iceberg. Prospects for students looking for jobs in 2020 are much more challenging than in previous years without the increased competition of people using fake qualifications.


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About Geoffrey Martin

At PKF Geoffrey Martin & Co, we provide practical advice concerning financial distress, contingency planning and insolvency. We advise directors, owners, investors and financiers at all stages of the business life cycle. Whether your business is growing or struggling, we have the expertise to help you achieve your objectives. We work across all industry sectors from property to technology, restaurants to insurance, and the needs of our clients always come first.


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