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Looking to get a high school diploma? Watch out for scams.

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There are plenty of good reasons to get your high school diploma as an adult. It can open doors to a new job or promotion, or help you get into college or the military. But before you start looking into your options, make sure you know how to spot a diploma scam.

The FTC has filed charges against two fake high school diploma operations: Capitol Network Distance Learning Programs (CNDLP) and Stepping Stonez Development.

Doing business as Lincoln High School, Aberdeen Academy, Escuela Capital, and many other names, the companies promised fast diplomas equivalent to the well-known GED®. All you needed to do was take a test and pay anywhere from $135 to $249. People in testimonials claimed they kept their jobs or got new dream jobs with the diplomas they received.

There were no classes, no study materials, and no homework — just one multiple-choice test on the site. And if you didn’t pass? Just try again, this time with the correct answers highlighted. According to the FTC, it was all a scam.

The companies claimed a wide range of organizations accepted the diplomas, but when people tried using them to enroll in college, apply for jobs, get a promotion, or enlist in the military, they found out they were worthless.

Here’s how you can spot a high school diploma scam:

They want you to pay for a diploma. It’s ok to pay for classes or testing — but you shouldn’t pay for just a diploma.

You can get the diploma from home, ASAP. If you can earn the diploma without taking any classes or in-person tests, it’s a scam.

They claim to be affiliated with the federal government. The federal government doesn’t regulate high school equivalency diploma programs. Each state decides what high school equivalency tests and programs are approved there.

Want the real story in getting a high school equivalency diploma? Read High School Diploma Scams.

This post was updated to indicate the FTC has asked a court to stop the defendants' allegedly illegal actions.

Blog Topics: 
Jobs & Making Money


Well I reckon that aint right

Hi lately there is a new scam arising man claiming he is a lottery agent from Smartphone technoligies and he us giving away 500,000 to smartphone users snd asking for all kinds of private information this is not real this is a scam.

Does Masters Learning Institute fall into this category of high school diploma mill scams? People pay for this "diploma" but all they have to do is complete one workbook in Spanish.

It's not accepted by the state of Texas, where it was created, nor are they accepted by the Dept of Immigration when a parent filing for DACA includes the certificate as proof of education.

Can we get them to cease and desist from calling their worthless piece of paper a "High School Diploma'?

You can report fraud to the FTC at Please provide as much information as you have. You can also contact your state Attorney General’s office and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Please tell people about this FTC article about High School Diploma scams (in Spanish as Estafas de diplomas de escuela secundaria).

You may also want to contact your:

This information regarding The Masters Learning Institute is not true. We were proven legitimate in the State of Texas. We have been in business for 30 years. We have many students that have already completed the DACA program, are enlisted in the Military and hold state and federal positions. You must take SATs and/or ACTs in order to continue your education it is our requirement. So we do abide by State laws if there are other questions the consumers can also contact our office directly.

How can I get my transcript from masters senior high school from Houston?

You can call or visit the school to request a transcript, or look online for a telephone number for the main office.

I been trying to get a copy of my transcript and deploma for a few years now from Master Senior High. Also I applied for a job and they couldn’t find the school are info to even get the school to fax over my information. How exactly am I supposed to get my transcript and deploma again. Also my cousin attended the school I paid for his test and he went to prison and they also made him take a GED class because they said the school was a scam. So please let me know exactly why nobody is able to confirm the school are information on it.

How scams occured in High School Diplomas? Be Awared from frauds.Nice Blog!

I got a GED from CNDLP and just found out it is a fake after 10 years. my job depends on having a ged . yes do a lot of reach before doing it on line.I was 60 and now 70 and must take the real GED. I paid 490.00 for a fake piece of paper.

Great Post!Thanks for sharing such kind of informative post regarding fake certificate scams. Keep posting!

Hello I need help finding out if this adult school call Rtq refuse to quit I paid a man who runs it $575.00 graduated Nov 4th 2017 signed up with Strayer University in May of 2018 started summer coarse July 2018 finish Sept 2018 11 wks summer coarse pass both classes with A's. Now here come Strayer University telling me my school diploma not real now I owe them $3,455. I contacted state attorney General office no help I assuming I am only person complaining one voice don't mean anything,

Hi, I’m going through the same thing now. I have a Diploma with the name Bright Rock located in Dover Delaware that’s not accredited. They operate under Recovery Education in Chester, PA. RTQ is not a legit service. I would try to reach out to the attorney generals office again.

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