Physical diplomas are all too easy to be forged. They can be altered digitally to make it look real to an untrained eye. Currently, unauthorized ‘Diploma mills’ can easily get their hands on the sophisticated equipment required to print diplomas today whereas (not all) Universities and education institutions have an on-the-fly digital verification mechanism. As a result, relying parties must rely solely on physical print security features in authenticating a diploma- which is again unreliable.
Every year 40,000 to 45,000 students graduate and earn their PhD degrees in the US. However, the number of fake PhD degrees that are churned out by diploma mills during the same period exceeds 50,000. What this shows is that one in every two person claiming to have a PhD degree in the US has a fake degree.