LETTER TO GOOGLE ADWORDS CONCERNING FAKE ONLINE HIGH SCHOOLS

LETTER TO GOOGLE CONCERNING FAKE ONLINE HIGH SCHOOLS.

This is a copy of the letter that was sent to Google Compliance concerning the Fake High School Diploma Mills that advertise on Google.

February 4th 2013

Dear Google Adwords Compliance Team,
I am writing to you today to request your assistance concerning a fraudulent operation that is utilizing Google Adwords to carry out their fraud and illegal activities on American Citizens.

As you are well aware, diploma mills continue to operate over the Internet, taking advantage of unsuspecting US consumers in need of a valid, US accredited high school diploma.

We applaud Google for taking strong action against these organizations selling fake college degrees online, but a significant problem still exist with those selling fake high school diplomas and GEDs online.

Background can be referenced at the following websites:
http://www.mlive.com/business/mid-michigan/index.ssf/2012/09/227m_federal_class_action_laws.html
http://www.belfordlawsuit.com/
http://www.diplomamillscam.com/

The most recent fake online schools that are part of this fraudulent network are:

CURRENTLY ADVERTISED (on Google):

http://www.onlinediplomaprofs.com/
http://www.fostercityhighschool.com/onlinegedalternative/
www.MaryGrandHighSchool.com
www.BeaconFallsHighSchool.com
www.SouthBristolHighSchool.com

PREVIOUSLY ADVERTISED (on Google):
www.belFORDhighschoolonline.com
www.pennFORDhighschool.com
www.mcFORDhighschool.com
www.alFORDhighschool.com
www.nationhighschool.com
www.musthighschool.com
DiplomaMillScam.com [28] additional sites

MORE DOMAINS AND FAKE WEBSITES ARE ADDED DAILY

The US and State authorities are taking action against these fraudulent organizations. The process is very difficult, however, since these businesses operate from Pakistan, which makes enforcement action nearly impossible. The Federal Trade Commission, Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau have done a good job highlighting these fake websites; but as soon as these websites are reported and publicized as fakes, these scammers create, launch and advertise via Google Adwords, new websites that do not have any negative information reported.

CHEA maintains the official list of United States Department of Education recognized accrediting agencies, which can be found at:

http://www.chea.org/pdf/CHEA_USDE_AllAccred.pdf

Henry Ford Community College, a Regionally accredited college, has published the following list of accepted and unaccepted online high schools for college admissions.

http://www.hfcc.edu/admissions/accredited-online-diplomas.asp

Google does have a policy concerning the sale and distribution of fake degrees and diplomas, which is found at:

http://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=176026&topic=1626336&path=1316546&ctx=leftnav

The only way these fraud organizations are able to carry out their scam is by way of Google Adwords; as well as Yahoo and Bing pay per click advertising campaigns.

These fraudsters are causing significant harm to the creditably and perceived legitimacy of accredited US high schools, thus causing substantial confusion and financial harm to the public at large. These fake schools are crushing the dreams of those in need of a valid, accredited US high school diploma.

I would implore Google Adwords to do the right thing and enforce your policy concerning the sale and distribution fake diplomas. The US Department of Education’s definition of a diploma mill can be found at: http://www2.ed.gov/students/prep/college/diplomamills/diploma-mills.html

As a collation member, joined together with other Regionally high schools, I am sending this letter in good faith. I am requesting that Google remove these fake schools from the Google Network; as well as establish a process with our collation, to identify and terminate any new fraudulent schools as they arise.

I am including my contact details below for comment.

Thank you in advanced for your cooperation.

Rod Clarkson, M.A.
Chief Executive Officer
Excel High School
4445 West 77th Street
Edina, MN 55435

Phone: (952) 465-3700
Fax: (952) 465-3701
Toll Free: 800-620-3844

www.excelhighschool.com
rod@excelhighschool.com

Excel High School is Regionally Accredited by AdvancED
and the North Central Association CASI.

The North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and
School Improvement (NCA CASI),Northwest Accreditation Commission
(NWAC), and the Southern Association of Colleges and
Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement
(SACS CASI) are accreditation divisions of AdvancED.

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