Cheating 2.0

As a faculty member1, I get email from the Faculty for which I teach with all sorts of information about the goings-on on campus. Usually it’s about faculty meetings or special guest speakers or reminders to submit your grades. But an item in a recent email update really caught my attention:

Student Scam Alert*
A new website offers to steal students extra time for writing papers.  Corrupted-Files.com creates corrupted files which look like ordinary word, excel and powerpoint documents. Students can email these files instead of their own papers to instructors. As the site promises, “It  will take your professor several hours if not days to notice your file  is “unfortunately” corrupted. Use the time […] wisely and finish that
paper!!!” See www.corrupted-files.com

So, of course, I had to check it out.

Some of the best lines from the site [direct quotations from their site in bold]:

  • “Plagiarism is not the answer to procrastination. –  Corrupted-Files.com is!” – Right. Because plagiarism would be wrong.
  • “We guarantee and stand by our product!” – So, if your prof manages to open the file and find out you are a lying cheater and you get kicked out of school and have an “academic dishonesty” notation on your transcript forever, you get your $4.95 back? w00t!
  • “Q: Is this cheating? A: It’s a fine line… It’s basically just a good excuse vs. outright cheating but even though you are handing in your own work, you are getting an unfair advantage so by that definition, yes you are cheating. Please ask your professors for an extension before you use a corrupted file. This is meant to be used as a last resort, a one time thing, not a crutch! Everyone is entitled to a second chance, but not a third.” – Um, if you ask your profession for an extension before using a corrupted file – presumbly they are turning down the request for an extension and that’s why you’ve turned to this form of cheating – and then you hand in a corrupted file, isn’t your prof going to be a wee bit suspicious?
  • “Q: Is making excuses ok? A: Of course not! Just be honest with people, we all drop the ball sometimes. It’s not the end of the world to use an excuse once, but twice… well, then you need to get your sh*t together or you’re gonna be pumping my gas!” – “Just be honest with people” – that’s rich. “Just be honest with people… and email them a corrupted file that you are claiming is the assignment you haven’t written yet.  You know, honest.”

The site’s tagline is “Keep This Site A Secret.”1  But I see no need to listen to people who profit off of cheating, so I’m blogging it for all the world to see!  Also, I have a question for all you techies – if a student emails me a corrupted file, is there anyway for me to tell if they bought it off this site (or corrupted some file that wasn’t their actual assignment)?

1Technically I am considered faculty, even though I’m the underpaid, underemployed, no job security kind of faculty. Go sessionaling!

  1. this footnote is just a test []