Skip to main content

Considering the flexibility and ease of learning, online education has gained much attention from learners in recent years, along with the unwanted attention of scammers! This has encouraged them to create fake online courses, get students’ money, and deliver nothing or low-quality learning material in return.

Many leaders at the Winter Edition of Education 2.0 Conference highlighted how such scam online courses affect the reputation of genuine institutions. Keeping that in mind, let’s discuss the difference between genuine and scam online education to help learners from spending their time, money, and energy on fake universities.


Online education helps learners gain knowledge irrespective of location, time, and age. It is why this model has gained popularity among learners. Genuine online education institutions are accredited by Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the US Department of Education.

When it comes to scammy universities, they use terms like internationally approved, authenticated, or sometimes accredited by agencies, which is unacceptable. In the end, students who pay to these bogus institutions receive nothing but a lot of backlogs, and many times, the universities are closed once they get the payments from the students.

Faculty Members Or Courses

Genuine universities have a long list of faculty members, along with the courses offered. In contrast, fraud education institutions don’t have such faculty lists; even if they have, contact information is unavailable. When selecting an online institute to pursue your education, this is a red flag. Many experts at education conferences highlight how fake universities offer many courses. Still, when asked about the course details, they either avoid it or claim to be the best universities.

Fees & Discounts

Another feature to be considered when comparing real and fake institutions is the involvement of money. Genuine institutions don’t call you to offer unreasonable discounts or offers for a limited time. They have almost a fixed semester or yearly fee pattern that doesn’t fluctuate with the candidates.

On the other hand, scammy institutions don’t have such fixed policies. They offer considerable discounts to enroll the learner in their university along with flat fees for the whole course. Many education leaders at Education 2.0 Conference shared that these fake universities often don’t even want the student to attend the classes.

Instead, they ask for a vast amount of money in exchange for a valid degree from their university. The next time you get a call from an institution offering heavy discounts on their online courses that are valid for a limited time, you know what to do.


These are the few differences between genuine and fraudulent universities that one can consider when looking for an online learning institution. You can learn more about the strategies and approaches that can save you from falling into the trap of fraud education institutions while learning ways to identify and avoid such educational scams at global education events like the Education 2.0 Conference in the USA and Dubai.

Author Image
Shobhit Behal
Author Bio

Shobhit Behal is a member of the Education 2.0 Conference’s organizing committee, has a sharp eye for details, and is keen on learning new things daily. There is so much to learn out there, which is why Education 2.0 Conference’s Dubai edition is ready to explore topics varying from EdTech fraud/scam/spam to combating the global talent shortage through skill development programs.