Axact’s reputation has been put into question after the published report of the New York Times titled as, ‘Fake Diplomas, Real Cash: Pakistani Company Axact Reaps Millions’. This report has been written by NYT Bureau Chief Declan Walsh who has given details supported by facts about how Axact has managed to play along with the million dollars scam on the internet.
The report claims that Axact is involved in issuing fake degrees at a massive global scale. The report also aroused suspicion about the source of funding behind the launch of the upcoming media group BOL. The media groups in Pakistan have been speculating the support of the Pakistan military behind the launch. The report proves how the Axact Company has established fake universities with fake professors and students through servers run by companies registered in Cyprus and Latvia. Paid actors play the role of non-existence faculty and students of these fake universities. Axact employees would incorporate fictitious reports about Axact universities on CNN iReport, a website for citizen journalism.
The NYT has also published a separate post titled “Tracking Axact’s Websites” which contains a list of the sites of the fictitious schools and universities that Axact claims to be operating. NYT has contacted the former insiders, and referred to company reports and has analyzed these websites in detail to investigate the authenticity of these websites. NYT used the list provided by the former Axact employees to search for more connections and identified some 370 websites with similar identifying features such as technical details, servers, content and supporting links.
These websites have been tailored to perfection with logos and names designed close to the already existing educational institutions around the world. Student testimonials with videos have been uploaded. Accreditation provided through fake sources bearing a remarkable resemblance to the official documents has been provided to satisfy the visitors. These tactics have been able to trap wealthy customers from the United States and the Persian Gulf countries making them pay in hundreds of dollars.
An immediate response was not available from the CEO of Axact, Shoaib Ahmad Shaikh. But Axact later on issued an official statement stating that this was a scheme hatched by the local media rivals in collaborating with NYT to harm Axact’s business. The official added that the FIA was aware of the issue but had not launched an investigation because it had not received a formal complaint.
Axact has termed the story baseless and one sided, “Axact condemns this story as baseless, substandard, maligning, defamatory and based on false accusations and merely a figment of imagination published without taking the company’s point of view. Axact will be pursuing strict legal action against the publications and those involved,” it also claimed that Axact had not been contacted for an input in the story. The facts were based on accounts taken from imaginary employees to formulate accusations without any evidence. It also claimed that a last minute haphazard elusive email was sent to the company demanding an immediate response by the next day to which the attorney for Axact responded.