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Websites selling college essays

Schools now using software to catch cheaters
Posted at 9:05 AM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 10:05:41-04

A high-tech game of "cat and mouse" that's keeping schools and University's on their toes.

Our exclusive investigation, "cyber cheating," reveals serious concerns about websites offering to do students' homework for a fee.

Evangeline Pacific feels it.

Evangeline say, "I really want to do well in school."

And so does Zac Cino.

"I always strive, like a perfectionist, like A, A, A," Zac says. "It could affect my career down the road."

Pressure to perform well in school is so intense these students sometimes feel a desire to cheat.

"There is that temptation," Evageline says. "Why do I have to do my own stuff, like 10 pages?"

When help could be just a click away.

Just type "Write my paper for me" online.

You'll find page, after page, listing websites offering to pen your paper for a price.

Like "Unemployed Professors" where students post their requests, then the "Unemployed Professors" bid on their assignments.

"Hail Mary Papers" says its answered "students' prayers for more than ten years" by offering 100% original work for the best prices in the industry.

And then there's Penny Paper Writer.

She offers attention and personal service for $25 a page.

"What do I think about them? I wish they didn't exist," says Rob Kairis who's on the frontlines of the fight.

Kairis says, "They're just capitalizing, unfortunately, on a situation that's out there, where students are willing to pay for papers."

The Library Director shows us how professors spot fakes.

Kairis says, "What typically happens is something raises their suspicion and then they can use certain tools."

Like "Safe Assign" special software that searches students' papers for words and phrases that match other people's work.

But can it really stop students from passing off someone else's work as their own?

With Kairis' help, we put it to the test.

Our producers bought papers from three of the websites, selling college essays and sent them to Rob Kairis as if they were written by students.

Remember unemployed professors?

The admittedly "Unethical" website brags about beating safe assign.

But look what happened, Robs says, "And you can see it says 45% overall match. And you might say, well, 45%, that doesn't sound too bad, but it's bad."

That's right.

The professor we paid to write an essay swiped their work from someone else.

But we also found the software has it limits.

The essay we bought from "Hail Mary Papers" didn't raise any red flags.

Neither did the paper we purchased from "Penny Paper Writer."

Rob says, "If you've got a good idea for how to shut them down, good for you."

A Safeassign spokesperson says their software can only "help instructors detect text that is not original."

Its up to instructors to figure out if its a case of plagiarism.

Robs says, "All the people writing these papers are doing it, is filling a need. And that's kind of scary."

But cheaters never really win.

Rob says the papers we paid for were poorly written.

Take "Penny Paper Writer's" two-page essay, Rob says, "It might, I would guess, get a c, or something like that."

We reached out to all three websites

But no one responded to our calls or email.

They know the only person you're truly cheating is yourself.

Evageline says, "If you don't have the time to actually put the effort into getting what you paid for, which is education."

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