ProctorFree - This week in cheating: fake medical certificates

“There’s a bus stop in Broadway where you can buy a fake medical certificate.”

This quote comes from Dr. Michael Spence, the Vice President of the University of Sydney, during his interview with ABC News. This is one of the newer cheating fads we’ve seen at ProctorFree, so we are going to look into this a little closer and see what you (presuming you are a school/college/university) can do to deter and detect fake medical certificates.

Let’s pretend we are all Simon Sinek and start with “Why?” Why would a student want a fake medical certificate, or as we say in the Grand Old U. S. of A., a fake “doctor’s note”. Primarily, to get out of something. Big test today? Suddenly your student thinks their appendix is about to burst. Paper due? How can your student hand it in when they’ve come down with Hookworms? Medical excuses are arguably the most legitimate reasons for absence, and generally the most inappropriate to question. Therefore students have been using fraudulent doctor’s notes and fake medical certificates to get out of work since, well just about ever.

Now that Why is covered, let’s talk about Where? Where on earth can a student find a fake medical certificate? We know there is that bus stop in Broadway (New South Wales, not New York) from the interview linked above. For those of us who can’t make it to the bus station, there are also websites, notably For the low price of £9.99 you can get 2 customized fake medical certificates saying just about whatever you want it to.

How can you detect these fake medical certificates and doctor’s notes? There’s a few things you can do:

  1. Call the number to confirm. There will be an office number and it is within your rights to call and confirm. If this is something you are uncomfortable with, you can direct this to your Disability Resource Center or HR department.
  2. Google the doctor’s name and office. If one doesn’t come up, you’re probably on the right track.
  3. Make sure it is a valid note for the reason it was used. A doctor’s note for routine check-ups, exams, and picking up medications are generally not accepted as excusable absences.

As individuals keep creating clever antics to game the system, we keep a watchful eye to fortify academic integrity. Until next time, this has been This Week in Cheating with ProctorFree.


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