If there was a real black market for degrees and certifications

How much would someone pay for a CFA Charter or HBS diploma, no questions asked? And is it possible that anyone has ever hacked the system an obtained a degree illegally? not the physical piece of paper but an actual registration and legit record.

You can pay to get into HBS, but you can’t pay any amount to get a CFA charter. “What if?” is a very juvenile game to play.

well i didnt actually use that word, but just curious at the figure… 100k?, 1m? the HBS degree wouldnt work because people would have class year refrences, but would someone pay to actually get in with zero merit?? how much does that go for?

I disagree on both points.

Since the CFAI has never used fingerprint recognition to identify candidates (unlike, say, the administrators of the GMAT), it seems like it would be very straightforward for a candidate to simply hire somebody else to take the CFA tests for them.

I imagine that there are people that make a living writing the CFA exam for other people. The only hard part would be getting a fake or doctored passport; but I suspect that in – say – China that’s probably not very difficult.

Oh cheating is possible. I will not disagree with that. CFA cheaters basically fall into five categories: a) ID Fraud (L1,2,3) - a(i): Candidate on record hires another person to take exam for him/her. - a(ii): Candidate on record has options of choosing between people who have passed certain levels or completed the whole program. Highest prices are for people who have passed multiple levels on the black market. Someone who has been hired in the past and passed L2 more than once is worth very much. b) Electronic communication (L1,2,3) - b(i): Visual optic hardware is purchased for the ‘rabbit’ taking the first exam in the first time zone. Several rabbits are deployed to allow multiple versions of the test to be communicated. People who fly into the second time zone to take the test are charged a cheaper fee and the service is guaranteed. People who take the test in the “Live” time zone are offered the input transmissions on a cheaper basis as it is “Live” unedited content. - b(ii) Level 3 is extra and no “Live” feed is transmitted. L3 content will be transmitted in the second time zone. General principles will be relayed, but candidate on record is responsible for connecting the dots in a manner free of grammatical errors. c) Advance Answer Transference (L1,2) - c(i): Answers are received and dissemenated to subscribers (6) hours before the first time zone test begins. Level 3 is not available for (AAT) service. d) CFAI Hacking (L1,2,3) - d(i) Partial or complete creation of CFAI candidate and/or manipulation of results. Very uncommon as CFAI runs a secure system. e) Proctor for Hire (L1,2) - e(i) Proctors are low paid workers. A proctor is available to slide in the completed answer sheet for Level 1 and 2 candidates.

I’m pretty sure CFA cheating is/was pretty common. Maybe not in the US, but in places like India for sure. That’s why CFAI introduced that passport policy. At least now, you have to find someone who looks like you to take the exam for you. Otherwise, you probably need to pay a decent amount of money to forge a passport.

But anyway, to answer the original question, in the real world, guilt would probably prevent most people from getting fake degrees, even for free. But let’s assume you can be transported to a parallel reality where you made different life choices. In the parallel reality, you have those degrees and everything else is equal. My price list would be something like this:

  1. Harvard/Stanford Business School or similar: $500k

  2. CFA: $15k (mostly for the effort)

  3. Two chicks at one time: $5000 (cannot be prostitutes)

I think its a bit sad to say that cheatig in CFA exams is more likely in India than it is in the US. If anything, fraud practices will be much more advanced in the US than in Emrging countries.

how dare you Mrs.Wenny? :slight_smile:

How do you know all this?!

he is speaking from experience i guess

My reaction when there's an exam today... And I'm hearing about it for the first time.

The safest way to prevent cheating is fingerprint ID for each candidate. FINRA does it

how hard can cheating on the exam be?..put a cfa exam guru in the toilet and whenever you don’t know the answer ‘go take a pee’

There are CFA personell in the bathrooms too…have you even taken an exam?

oh… you got me

For example before a CAIA exam you are requested to provide a primary and a secondary ID, a photo is taken, both of yours palms are scanned and the whole exam is taped. Obviously, it’s a time consuming process, which wouldn’t work for a gig like CFA. If someone really wants to cheat, he/she will I guess.

You are wrong! The US (and other western developed countries) actually have pretty good ethical standards on average when it comes to cheating or intellectual property. In India/China/random Asian country, it’s perfectly acceptable to bribe traffic police, bribe government officials to get permits, pirate software, buy bootleg university textbooks (literally photocopies), and do all sorts of other things that violate the spirit of fairness. If you think the US is corrupt, you should spend some time in Asia. In the US, fraud is publicized and publically derided; hence, you see it in the news a lot. In some other countries, fraud is just accepted as part of everyday life.

Yea I always found this funny. Someone will literally follow you into the bathroom and watch you do the deed, then follow you out.

I don’t know what would happen if you went to the pooper though. Would they burst in on you if they heard paper crumpling sounds??

Maybe you could mask the paper sound with loud groaning. They will probably decide to leave you alone.

Dude, you have no idea what kind of random stories proctors have about cheating cases. I spoke to a few recently and they were pure lol - toilet seat up vs down to indicate some notes left in this stall, notes scribbled and rolled into toilet paper, etc etc. There was even a fake proctor in London last year apparently, so now proctors have to bring them passports too.