Midlands State University (MSU) and the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) have seemingly been targeted scammers who claim to issue fake academic qualifications from the institutions.
An advertorial by bogus company Legitimate Zimbabwe Academic certificates reads: “You have skills, but all you need are academic qualifications and certificates, we are just a call or a text away.”
The advert which is circulating on social media and has targeted MSU and NUST reads: “Get Legitimate academic certificates registered with any university system. Pass SAQA or any Verification”.
The counterfeit company even gives a guarantee that the certificates will be “registered in the system” meaning they have people who they work with from the inside.
The phone number for inquiry on the advert is registered under the name Nigel Tanyaradzwa who upon receiving a call from B-Metro said he doesn’t know anything about such a company. Said Tanyaradzwa on Tuesday:
I have been receiving a lot of phone calls and WhatsApp messages on my number with people asking me if it’s possible that I fabricate academic documents for them.
There are people who are tempering with my phone number because I don’t offer such services. The police are already investigating this case because I am being framed.
A senior lecturer at MSU under the faculty of Social Sciences in the Department of Media, Communication, Film and Theatre, Dr Tariro Ndawana, said institutions lose their credibility because of such illegal business. He said:
In as much as this person is trying to make dirty money out of it, the bigger picture is, it is going to affect the institutions’ reputations that these people can copy their certificates and transcripts for sale on the black market.
The affected universities will lose their value, and it will even affect students who were issued degrees in a legitimate manner because their documents won’t be trusted anymore on the market.
Thabani Mpofu, the director of communication and marketing at NUST did not respond to questions sent to him by the time of publication.