Ideas for a message re "You are committing fraud if you ...

Feb 01, 2013

... are not the person taking and completing this course ... ".

A client has concerns that some learners may be taking/completing courses on behalf of others, and as a result would like some wording that makes it clear they're committing fraud if this is the case.  I've asked for more info re where the message needs to go, e.g. at the beginning of a course (so the learner has to agree to the terms before being allowed to continue) OR on the LMS page immediately prior to course launch.  Technology-wise it's simple, it's just coming up with the right message that is both clear but not too heavy (seeing as many of their staff are not particularly IT-literate and often struggle with the whole elearning thing anyway).

Either way, I can't find another course that has appropriate wording, nor can I find anything on Google - yet.  Hence wondering if anyone here has done this ...


14 Replies
Jeff Kortenbosch

Depending if you want to go the "You are a criminal" way (which has some humorous approaches). You could also just make it clear in either the invitation that users get, the course page in the LMS or somewhere on the first slides of the course. We are all adults so telling them they are not allowed to use the account of someone else.

If there are actual repercussions when doing the course in a different persons account you could mention that to... 

Daniel Brigham

Hi, Simon: Maybe something like "Warning: If you are taking this course on the behalf of someone else, you may face..." (and then state the nasty thing that might happen to them if they are busted)

I'd probably put this as on-screen text visible to the learner before they launch the course. Maybe right by the "launch course" button or whatever. Of course, if this is really important, you could have the narrator announce it at the beginning, but that assume you have VO and that's probably too much anyway.

Bob S

Hi Simon,

Unless there is truly an actual regulatory/statutory consequence for this (eg BSA violations for banking/financial sector), I migh go down a different path.

Most companies have an "ethos" or "values" or "how we conduct ourselves" type statement somewhere. I would echo that instead. Something like...

"At XYZ Inc, integrity is one of the core values we cherish. By clicking the link below, you certifty that you personally are completing the course. Any breeches of the above will viewed as a violation of the company ethos statement and may warrant disciplinary action."

Finally, you really want  have to have any threat/consequence type statements run by the HR/LEGAL department first.

Good luck,


Bruce Graham

Right at the front of the course, written in Plain English (or local language), legally correct, backed up by audio voice if possible, no messing around.

The closest to this I get is the following which is used on every course for one client:

"...Just before we continue, please read this copyright statement. If you agree with it then continue, if you do not please close the course. If you do continue it is assumed that you have read and understand the contents of this copyright statement..."


Nancy Woinoski

Why don't you ask them to press their thumbprint on the screen to prove they are who they say they are. (kidding) 

Or maybe ask them a few questions that only the company and the learner would know before they start (possibly have these questions pulled from a random list). Even if you are not tracking the responses it might scare anyone off from taking the course for someone else. 

Todd Thornton

I've never completely mocked this idea up before because I figured my regulators would balk, but I've always thought the following would be a really effective way to get the point across and to focus people in on the training. Create a little cartoon about someone trying to find someone else to take the course for them, (paying, coercing, begging, etc.) and then at the end the person who actually took the training, impresses the boss with their knowledge and knows enough to take that persons job. The original offender ends up in the unemployment line because they didn't stay current. 


Maxine Guillen

Hi Simon

Not sure if this helps, but this reminds me of a basic document I had to sign when I was at university. Before submitting work I had to sign that I hadn't paraphrased/used anyone else's work/that the work was my own. I don't remember the word "fraud" was used, but I remember that the wording was concise and clear, but firm - I'll try and look it out for you, maybe you could adapt it! M

Simon Perkins

Thanks guys.  

Turns out she needs the messaging to appear during the enrolment phase or when an existing enrollee is launching a course.  Both are fine from a tech perspective.  So it's now a case of collating together a few ideas from above (shame I can't include some of the more graphic varients ) and letting her style it accordingly.

Cheers all

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