CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - A local lawmaker is calling for a Congressional inquiry, after a FOX 46 investigation exposed just how easy it is to buy fake diplomas, transcripts and letters of reference online.
No books or studying just cash for credit.
"It's worth launching an inquiry into it," said Rep. Alma Adams (D-Charlotte). "Especially, now that it has been brought to the forefront."
Companies that crank out bogus degrees, known as diploma mills, are a billion dollar business. The problem is the real looking fakes are often used to fool employers. It's so easy to do, FOX 46 ordered an "official" course transcript and a nursing degree from Catawba College, saying reporter Matt Grant graduted Summa Cum Laude.
Grant never attended Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C. Instead, he paid one company, Diploma Makers, close to $300 to make and ship the bogus documents.
"It just seems to me that some of that smacks of fraud," said Adams.
"So how does it make you feel when you see these websites selling these bogus diplomas?," asked Grant.
"Well, first of all, I was absolutely shocked that that was even going on," said Adams. "I have to question why you're in that kind of business in the first place."
For 40 years, Adams taught art at Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. She earned her Ph.D. in Art Education and Multicultural Education from Ohio State University in 1981. For less than $200, we could buy a knock-off from Diploma Makers.
"I am absolutely appalled as an educator myself," said Adams. "I think it's awful."
As a lawmaker, who sits on the House Committee on Education and Labor, Adams wants to get results. She is calling for a Congressional inquiry into what FOX 46 uncovered.
"It's certainly an issue that I'll have a discussion with my, the chair of the Education Committee," said Adams, referring to Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA.). "I'm going to raise it with him."
"What about, at the very least, requiring them to actually stamp the word 'novelty' on some of the items they're selling?," asked Grant. "Or not use the names of legitimate colleges?"
"I think that's an excellent idea," Adams responded.
Adams says the issue should concern job seekers and employers.
"I do think that the fact you all have at least raised this issue that it's going to get people not only thinking about it," said Adams, "but really looking into what's happening in their workplaces as well."