Buying the IELTS certificate. A reality or a fraud?

Buying an IELTS certificate and getting rid of difficulties to achieve a high score tempts many candidates to pay a great deal of money and avoid the hassle of taking part in the exam! But, unsurprisingly, wherever there is a demand, there are fraudsters who are ready to take advantage of the situation in any possible way.

Why do IELTS certificates have an attractive market?

A simple search in google shows the high number of websites, which claim to sell IELTS certificates. Websites that advertise openly and without any fear, with the promise of giving the candidates their desired IELTS band score without taking any exams. They even claim to sell certificates that the IELTS organizers can officially verify.

But why do IELTS certificates have an exciting market?

1. Candidates’ demand

If there is no demand for fraud, no fraudster can take advantage of the situation. But, unfortunately, despite many warnings by IELTS organizers, some candidates are still deceived by frauds’ new and deceptive methods and are willing to purchase an IELTS certificate, knowing the risks of losing money or being blacklisted (We will get there later).

2. Hefty profit gained by fraudsters through selling fake IELTS certificates

The profit earned by selling IELTS certificates is much more than a few hundred euros. If you visit some of these IELTS selling websites, you will learn that to purchase an IELTS certificate, you need to pay an amount between 500 to 5000 euros, depending on the time you have or the band score you need! Hilariously, some frauds are kind enough to accept this sum in two instalments! The first instalment should be paid right away at the beginning of the process. The second one after the certificate has been issued and the candidate has verified its authenticity!

3. The reluctance of the victims in taking legal actions

The main reason that makes it super easy for fraudsters to scam the candidates of their money without being prosecuted is that the victims usually don’t dare to report the scam or take legal actions to denounce the frauds! Because it is like filing a legal complaint about the bad quality of an illegal drug! Isn’t that funny?

It is important to know that even attempting to purchase an IELTS certificate is an illegal action on its own. So if victims want to track their lost money through judicial authorities, they will also face a penalty for committing the crime of buying an illegal certificate, even though it is much less severe than the crime committed by the fraudsters.

However, this is not the end of the story. When candidates realize that they had been victims of a scam, and will not receive any certificates, they try to threaten the fraudsters to take legal action as a measure of last resort to get their money back. This is when fraudsters play their ace.

Frauds threaten the candidates that they will submit the documents related to purchasing the IELTS certificate to the immigration organizations or the applicant’s university in case of any legal charges. In this way, the candidates may be permanently placed on the blacklist of the immigration organizations or the university. And who in their right mind is willing to accept the risk of being blacklisted?

How fraudsters persuade candidates to buy the IELTS certificates?

First of all, frauds ask victims to deposit the agreed price, or at least half of it, into their credit card or bank account. The trick to present a credit card or a bank account is used to convince the candidates that everything is legitimate. Some candidates would think that the sellers would not provide a bank account number that the judicial authorities could easily follow if they were frauds.

But why frauds are willing to give away their bank account details so easily? It’s quite simple, the fraudsters do not usually own these accounts, and in most cases, they are bought by scammers at a low price from third parties so that they won’t lead anyone back to them.

In some cases, to show that everything is done in accordance with the principles, fraudsters ask candidates to provide the following documents to begin the purchase process:

  • A copy of the passport
  • A photograph with a white background
  • A fingerprint scan

Sometimes, fraudsters take advantage of Google’s advertising policies and justify that Google would not have allowed them to advertise if they were illegal! However, in reality, anyone, even you, can advertise on Google freely and without taking any permissions, using only a virtual credit card. Also, if they get reported on google, the review process is time-consuming and gives the scammers plenty of time before google suspends their account.

What about the official inquiry of the IELTS certificates?

Fraudsters claim that the authenticity of the purchased IELTS certificates can be inquired and verified online from the official IELTS website. Therefore, tell the candidates that they can pay half of the agreed price after this verification.

First of all, you should know that in most cases, the process of purchasing an IELTS certificate will never get to the inquiry stage because fraudsters have already received at least half of the agreed price. Scammers are usually satisfied with this amount, so they do not need the other half. The only thing that they need to do after that is to look for their next victim.

However, in some cases, more greedy fraudsters use phishing methods to deceive their victims and get the rest of the agreed amount. In this method, through a fake website using a very similar address to the URL of the IELTS main website, they show a fake verification to the candidates and secure the rest of the agreed money!

Is it possible to buy an IELTS certificate?

The short answer is NO!

One of the reasons the IELTS exam is recognized as the world’s most trustworthy international language test lies in its high-security measures. That’s why most immigration organizations and universities around the world have full confidence in the results of this exam.

Moreover, in recent years, IELTS organizers (IDP and the British Council) have taken more drastic measures to maintain the safety and credibility of this test. Actions such as taking fingerprints and photos on the day of the exam.

Therefore, it can be said with absolute certainty that it is impossible to buy the IELTS certificate and whoever claims to sell them is definitely a con artist ready to take advantage of the naivety, and sometimes greediness of candidates.

In the end, if you have any experience regarding buying or selling the IELTS certificate, please share it with others in the comments section below.

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