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7 smart ways to identify a fake online course

Online scams are a fact of life. They are on the rise now because covid-19 has forced a lot of people to do things online.

No matter how smart you are, you can prey to scammers because they reinvent old scams and present them in seemingly legitimate ways.

However with due diligence you can avoid becoming a victim to the latest online scam.

1. No accreditation

You should apply for an online degree at a university that is accredited. This means that the university has been validated by an agency or the Ministry of Education in that particular country.

2. Asking for full payment at one go

The university asking you to fork out for your entire tuition before you start is another major red flag. You should never be asked to pay the entire institution fees upfront. Real online programs typically offer several payment options; some even take into account the student’s financial capability.

3. Easy enrollment

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Since fake online degrees are just scams to get your money, the institution will try to persuade you that it’s easy to enroll and earn a degree so you will be tempted to apply and pay the fees.

4. Earning the degree seems fast and easy

Prospective students should hear warning bells as soon as they are told they can get a degree without much time and effort. Most people want university degrees, but not all of us qualify. If the course doesn’t match your previous educational background, do thorough research.

5. There is pressure or incentives to enroll

Prospective students should watch out for high-pressure sales pitches from recruiters. If the advisers or the counselors sound more like salespeople who are more interested in pressure for enrollment that discussing academic programs and outcomes, there’s a red flag.

6. Duration of course

While online degree programs do have flexible schedules and learn-at-your-pace set up, they still demand a significant amount of time and effort to accomplish the coursework. Realistically, has anyone really earned a college degree in such a short span if time? If an online program give you the impression of instant results, you need to jump to your next option.

7. Fishy contact details on the website

Not having proper contact information is another red flag, as reputable colleges and universities will have various ways to contact them if you’d like to request for information. Students should check both the physical and web address of an online institution to gauge its legitimacy.

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