Consumers have reported locally they have been deceived by fraudulent online schools offering high school diplomas that turn out to have little or no value. Consumers are being charged $99-$1600 each for a “class.” An online chat operator for McHill High School stated the school has been in business for over 20 years and is located in Richmond. A domain search revealed that their website at www.mchillhighschool.com was created March 29, 2012.
Two other “schools” claim to be located in the Richmond area. Belford High School is listed as a fraudulent website at www.GEDtestingservice.com and has had 78 inquiries with the BBB in the past year. Www.alfordhighschool.com has received 14 inquiries since mid-April 2012. The Better Business Bureau serving Central Virginia has been in contact with officials of the Virginia Department of Education who tell us these “schools” often create their own accrediting organizations and are usually not accredited in any legitimate sense.
“Before you pay for any high school class or diploma, please check with the Virginia Department of Education to make sure you are getting the proper information,” advised Tom Gallagher, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Central Virginia. “For colleges, check with the U.S. Department of Education.” If you’d like further information on diploma mills, email the BBB at email@example.com.