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Fake online universities are a big industry.

There is no such thing as a free lunch and some people in the UAE are realising this the hard way as they get duped about online university courses that promise them accredited degrees for a pittance, without the need to attend online classes and or take exams. The lure of winning an easy scholarship is surely not stronger than a moment of common sense. Clearly, the gullible are a perennial human species who fall for such incredulous offerings thanks to which the 350 scam websites that operate worldwide are lining their pockets with $1 billion a year and chortling all the way to the bank. Even though the UAE's Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has repeatedly warned people against placing their trust in such online offerings and even issued lists on its website with the 105 accredited foreign online universities recognised by the UAE, the fact that such scams are succeeding means that people are not taking the necessary precautions.

While the UAE government is doing its bit to empower people with information, it is the primary duty of every individual to be discerning in their approach to such blatantly dubious offers. Cyber chicanery is not a new phenomenon and there is no excuse for this kind of voluntary victimisation, especially when lured by promises of a scholarship for a university degree that requires no exams or attending classes. For the gullible, there is a lesson to be learnt here that has nothing to do with education.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Nov 3, 2014
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