In short no, you cannot buy an IELTS certificate without actually taking the IELTS exam.
The owners of the IELTS exam pride themselves on being able to provide the worlds most fair and accurate English language proficiency test. Their high levels of integrity and trustworthy results are the main reason why most immigration organizations and universities accept the exam as the gold standard of language tests. To maintain these standards all three organisations, Cambridge ESOL, the British Council and IDP education have high-security measures, which include taking fingerprints and photos on the day of the exam. Therefore, it is impossible to buy an IELTS certificate. However, this has not deterred fraudsters from preying on desperate students. and unfortunately, I know of many students from Singapore have unknowingly fallen victim to such scams. A quick Google search for buying online IELTS certificates yields thousands of results, with each website promising an authentic IELTS test report form, for a hefty fee of course. This article aims to dispel the myths surrounding this unfortunate criminal trend.
How Do These IELTS Test Result Scams Operate?
There are two ways in which these criminals operate. The first being the most common scenario in which scammers simply convince unsuspecting students to pay a huge amount of money in return for a so-called authentic IELTS Test report form (TRF), without holding up their end of the bargain.
In the second instance, the scammers take their payment and provide the candidate with a fake IELTS certificate. These certificates and test scores will not be accepted by universities or immigration authorities in any country because it won’t be entered into the British Council or IDP database.
This type of scenario has more long-lasting consequences for the victims if they are caught, which we will get to a bit later on.
Why do people fall for such scams?
The criminals involved go to great lengths to make sure that their traps appear convincingly authentic. They often ask for your personal data, passport copies and biodata such as fingerprints. They even create fake websites with similar URLs to the official IELTS websites, so that victims can check their fake IELTS test results.
Most students who have been duped out their money do not report these fraudsters for fear of being prosecuted or blacklisted from the IELTS exams. Meaning that the culprits merely keeping moving on from one unsuspecting victim to the next.
What Happens If You Are Caught Using Fake IELTS Online Certificates?
If it becomes know that you have in some way tried to “engage in any form of malpractice which may damage the integrity and security of the IELTS test” you will not be allowed to sit for the IELTS exam. You will be blacklisted from appearing in the test and more importantly you might face serious criminal charges. Not to mention the fact that this could seriously jeopardise your university and visa applications.
In the end, the IELTS exam is a hurdle that you must go through in order to achieve your dreams of success abroad. If you feel that you are lacking in terms of English language skills in any way, why not consider enrolling for a good IELTS preparation course with a trained IELTS professional. It’s a much safer option than risking your future by taking an illegal route.