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Suspicion of academic fraud

Active Member
Roland Z Member Since: Sep 30, 2015
1 of 7

Hi Guys,

 

I'm an agency owner. One of my colleagues received a lengthy invitation a few days ago. After discussing the task with the client, and agreeing on a budget, I agreed I would review his documentation about the project and get back to him with my final offer.

 

Upon reading the documentation and consulting with my colleagues, we have reasonable suspicion that it's some sort of academic fraud. Here are the red flags I encountered:

 

- When I would ask pertinent questions about the job, the client didn't really know how to answer and would claim he is just a middle man to a third party, and say something along the line of "That's just the brief I got". In and of itself, this isn't concerning in and of itself, but in retrospect, it leads me to believe that he just didn't read the documentation (about 50 pages) or he was intentionally dodging questions.

 

- The documentation was quite obviously part of a university course assignment. In one of the documents, the table of contents read "1. Tutor contact details 2. <next chapter>", but the actual chapter 1 was missing from the document, starting straight with chapter 2. This looks like they erased the chapter (so you can't get in touch with them), but didn't bother to erase it from the table of contents and renumber the chapters. 

 

- The client generally seemed in a rush. When We wanted to schedule our initial talk for the upcoming day, he claimed that "By that time, I will have already found someone else", creating the impression of urgency.  After I reviewed the documentation, I informed him of my suspicion and decision to decline the project, he got very frustrated and sent me this passive-aggressive response:


**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

We didn't get scammed or anything like that. I have some suspicions, but most of it is just speculation. I don't want to outright flag this and create an unpleasant situation for them by having their account blocked for investigation, as I'm not sure how the algorithm works. It's worth noting that the client has about 44 5-star reviews and otherwise good profile.

 

I would like to get a second opinion from a moderator. I can send you the documentation I received, if appropriate.

 

Thanks.

 

 

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
2 of 7

Roland Z wrote:

Hi Guys,

 

I'm an agency owner. One of my colleagues received a lengthy invitation a few days ago. After discussing the task with the client, and agreeing on a budget, I agreed I would review his documentation about the project and get back to him with my final offer.

 

Upon reading the documentation and consulting with my colleagues, we have reasonable suspicion that it's some sort of academic fraud. Here are the red flags I encountered:

 

- When I would ask pertinent questions about the job, the client didn't really know how to answer and would claim he is just a middle man to a third party, and say something along the line of "That's just the brief I got". In and of itself, this isn't concerning in and of itself, but in retrospect, it leads me to believe that he just didn't read the documentation (about 50 pages) or he was intentionally dodging questions.

 

- The documentation was quite obviously part of a university course assignment. In one of the documents, the table of contents read "1. Tutor contact details 2. <next chapter>", but the actual chapter 1 was missing from the document, starting straight with chapter 2. This looks like they erased the chapter (so you can't get in touch with them), but didn't bother to erase it from the table of contents and renumber the chapters. 

 

- The client generally seemed in a rush. When We wanted to schedule our initial talk for the upcoming day, he claimed that "By that time, I will have already found someone else", creating the impression of urgency.  After I reviewed the documentation, I informed him of my suspicion and decision to decline the project, he got very frustrated and sent me this passive-aggressive response:


**Edited for Community Guidelines**

 

We didn't get scammed or anything like that. I have some suspicions, but most of it is just speculation. I don't want to outright flag this and create an unpleasant situation for them by having their account blocked for investigation, as I'm not sure how the algorithm works. It's worth noting that the client has about 44 5-star reviews and otherwise good profile.

 

I would like to get a second opinion from a moderator. I can send you the documentation I received, if appropriate.

 

Thanks.

 

_______________________________

 

If you haven't already, I would flag the job, and I would also report it to CS with all the deets (job offer, conversations etc.). The response you got from this so-called client says it all IMO. Academic fraud is rife on this site. Sometimes jobs get taken down and sometimes they don't, even when the cheating is glaringly obvious. 


 

Active Member
Roland Z Member Since: Sep 30, 2015
3 of 7

Thank you Nichola,

 

I understand your point of view, but as I said, a lot of it is just speculation and I want to give this person the benefit of the doubt. He may just be an inexperienced kid who didn't read the fine print when he accepted the job on his end.

 

You seem pretty passionate about the subject. I'm curious what experience you had with this.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
4 of 7

Roland Z wrote:

Thank you Nichola,

 

I understand your point of view, but as I said, a lot of it is just speculation and I want to give this person the benefit of the doubt. He may just be an inexperienced kid who didn't read the fine print when he accepted the job on his end.

 

You seem pretty passionate about the subject. I'm curious what experience you had with this.


_______________________

 

I am very concerned about this. It is certainly my soap-box rant. "Inexperienced kids" should know the difference between wrong and right and cheating and not cheating. 

 

There are hundreds of posts in the community about this, and I am certainly a vociferous participant. 

 

I think cheating is unacceptable and I don't take prisoners on this - especially on a site that piously states that it will not accept academic fraud and yet very often turns a blind eye to it - particularly if the client happens to be an essay mill that has made the site a sizeable chunk of money.  

Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
5 of 7

Roland Z wrote:

Thank you Nichola,

 

I understand your point of view, but as I said, a lot of it is just speculation and I want to give this person the benefit of the doubt. He may just be an inexperienced kid who didn't read the fine print when he accepted the job on his end.

 

You seem pretty passionate about the subject. I'm curious what experience you had with this.


I'm with Nichola on this, for obvious reasons ... it's wrong. Search the forums and you'll find many threads on this subject. Flag the job and don't worry about hurting anyone's feelings. 

 

Because of client stupidity (leaving telling clues in their job posts), I was able to contact two professors to report academic fraud by their students, and they were very thankful.

Community Guru
Bill H Member Since: Aug 18, 2017
6 of 7

"Thank you Nichola,

 

I understand your point of view, but as I said, a lot of it is just speculation and I want to give this person the benefit of the doubt. He may just be an inexperienced kid who didn't read the fine print when he accepted the job on his end."

 

Inexperienced kid with 44 five-star reviews?

 

I run across these about every two weeks. It would be more common, but I filter out everything except Expert and Minimum $250 project budget. This is academic fraud. Report it.

 

Given the response, I wouldn't want to do any work for that client. You dodged a bullet.

 

 

Active Member
Roland Z Member Since: Sep 30, 2015
7 of 7

Inexperienced kid with 44 five-star reviews?

 

Yes, I realized the discrepancy after I posted it. Thanks for your response.

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