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GCSE RESULTS 2020: Students given fraud warning over sharing certificate selfies

As hundreds of students in West Norfolk get ready to receive their GCSE results today, a leading fraud expert is warning against sharing images of their certificates online.

Over the last couple of months, many degree and A level students who have been denied the usual graduation and prom celebrations have instead taken to social media to innocently share selfies with their exam certificates to celebrate their success.

But fraud expert, Robert Brooker, warns that fraudsters can find these images online using hashtags such as #exams, #degree or #GCSE.

Students get their results. (40373848)
Students get their results. (40373848)

The fraudsters then use the information on the certificates to create fake certificates that can be bought for as little as £7 on the internet.

Mr Brooker, head of fraud and forensic at PKF Geoffrey Martin and chair of the London Fraud Forum said: “It’s completely understandable that students want to share their success, particularly when this year it's been much harder to celebrate with friends and family due to coronavirus.

"What might seem a completely innocent activity, sharing images of certificates, is playing into the hands of fraudsters.

"It’s really important to keep personal data secure to avoid being a victim of identity fraud. The same thing applies to sharing images of passports or driving licences online as it does to exam certificates.”

He added: "There’s a staggering number of fake certificates being sold online and exam certificate fraud is only the tip of the identify-fraud iceberg.

"Prospects for students looking for jobs in 2020 are much more challenging than in previous years without the increased competition of people using fake qualifications."

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