Investigation reveals thousands of IT certifications are fake

Companies have sent thousands of proxy test takers – individuals who take an exam on someone else’s behalf – to test centres to fraudulently complete IT certifications, according to an investigation by digital PR agency, TopLine Comms.

Companies such as BuyITCert are helping dishonest individuals to obtain Google, AWS and Cisco certifications, among others. Prices for an AWS certification begin at $2,000, a small fee compared to the potential salary this qualification provides access to. As of 2019, AWS Certified Developer Associates can expect salaries of nearly £100,000 per year.

In recorded online conversations, BuyITCert revealed it has sent at least 5,000 proxy test takers to sit IT certifications since it launched in 2000.

Its website claims that after registration and a one-off payment, it will send a proxy to take the exam under your name. After that, you can expect your new certification within five working days, although it may sometimes take ten working days in ‘special exam cases’.

BuyITCert claimed that because these are ‘private centre exams’ rather than government exams, its service is not illegal.

Luke Budka, Director at TopLine Comms, says: “The scale of the fraud is staggering. It shows that test centres globally must work harder to weed out proxy test-takers.

“Employees with fraudulently obtained certifications and insufficient skills pose a major risk to organisations. They are far less likely than an honest employee to be competent, opening the company up to fines and reputational risks.”