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A Technical Query regarding Genuine and Spoof Emails


hqharry

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Dear Sir/Madams,

I've been sent what I believe is a genuine email from a company that is concerning to me (it lists my personal details). After making enquiries with them with little feedback and the passing of two months, the company have sent me a response claiming it is a 'spoof email' with a printout of Header information that they use to verify their conclusion. It has taken them two months to respond.
My technical question is regarding Header information. Is it possible this can be copied/pasted/modified, then printed out and sent to me with their response?

I have read a little about Email Spoofing. If it is possible to spoof Emails, then is it possible to make genuine emails look as if they were 'spoofs' if the recipient cannot see the sender's email header information to confirm what the sender says (but had to wait two months for them to give them feedback, and was then sent an extract of Header information to back their claim up)?

I received the email in my yahoomail account. Should I take what the company states as 100% fact, or have I got justifiable reasons to doubt their response as I cannot physically verify their response but have only their word. I feel I'm doubting them because it has taken them two months to reply; the email contains my personal details; the email contains the email signature from their staff member's address it was sent from; and the staff member whom I phoned the very next day said they 'had their back turned when it was sent'.

I can provide specific information if needed, and appreciate any feedback with this.

Kind Regards

H Qadir.

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lotvic

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Apart from getting tangled up trying to understand how or if University got hacked and why the hackers sent you a fake cert :

Perhaps you ought to pursue getting a legitimate certificate. Either you qualify for one that they are legally able and obliged to issue to you Or the University is not legally registered to issue them. Then you can take it from there.

Maybe check with GTTR to see if the Uni is registered to issue PGCE in the first place.

(These are just my laymans simple reasonings)

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lotvic

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Maybe I should put general link for interested others that are reading thread

Postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE)

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hqharry

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I understand what you mean Lotvic. I also contacted the GTTR. The university in question is Edge Hill. Edge Hill have been running PGCE qualifications for a long time, and collaborated on the academic elements of my teacher training route (most of the lectures I attended included PGCE students.) I only made enquiries like any typical person would. Why would I question the legitimacy of the certificate when the TDA; the Teaching Agency; and my training route also issue PGCEs at the end of the training? I've just not needed a PGCE here in England otherwise would have pursued the matter back then. Its only recently with the Scotland issue that I made enquries to assist the GTCS. It looks genuine too, so how would any typical person be able to tell the difference between something thats genuine or not when they receive it?

I sent it to the GTCS in good faith as any normal person would.

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Woolwell

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There are 3 qualifications:

Post Graduate Certificate of Education and Professional Certificate of Education and just to confuse matters more there is the Professional Graduate Certificate in Education. I think that Edge Hill do the Post Graduate Certificate which is normally a 1 year full time course or a 2 - 3 year flexible time course and my understanding it is for those straight from University with a degree and not for those already working effectively as a teacher. It seems to me that you went down the cert ed route which leads to the Professional certificate of Professional Graduate Certificate.

I doubt that the certificate is fake but it may be the wrong type.

You clearly need to contact Edge Hill and check just what you did get.

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Woolwell

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ps Do you have an official transcript of your PGCE?

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lotvic

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So, ok the Uni infer the 'fake' PGCE cert must have been sent by some mysterious hacker impersonating a staff member... I would have thought they should be investigating that internally on their system. I very much doubt they will be willing to give you the proper full details of any internal enquiry they may or may not be carrying out.

I would be inclined put that in the same vein as the saving face vague explanations that some companys give out instead of admitting liability to their mistakes (similar to monetary 'Goodwill' gestures).

Could also be seen as similar to Car Insurance companys saying 'Never admit Liability' when you've crashed your car into someone else's.

Obviously the fact that Scotland employers say the one you have was not produced by the Uni and is a fake is a cause for concern but all the investigating in the world won't make it become genuine if it is a fake.

As I see it, the main issue for yourself and your future is to find out if you are entitled to have a Genuine PGCE Certificate issued from Uni and be asking for that as the Uni do appear to have dealt with your original enquiry to issue you with a genuine PGCE cert. Does the Uni agree with Scotland that the one you have received is in fact a fake and not issued by them?

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lotvic

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ouch, bad typo omission - that should read:

as the Uni do NOT appear to have dealt with your original enquiry to issue you with a genuine PGCE cert

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Woolwell

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I think that we are probably at the stage where you should be seeking the help of your union instead of using this forum.

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spuds

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Perhaps another alternative to sorting these issues out, is to contact your local MP and let them make enquiries on your behalf. At least they should have channels that would or should provide the answers or evidence required, and perhaps by doing so, get a far quicker and more accurate response?.

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hqharry

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Thanks for your feedback. Woolwell, the certificate is a Post Graduate Certificate of Education. There was no transcript attached with it, besides a supporting Edge Hill letter which I got in the post a day before the certificate.

Lotvic I agree and have thought this myself for awhile now, theres little chance finding out about any internal investigation at the Uni. My union had little success on getting feedback, my local MP went straight to the top, to the Vice Chancellor. There response then came in writing after approx 9wks of having received the email. The response to the certificate took a few months too (I found out from the GTCS.) The Uni are unsure which staff member sent it. They said its not genuine because its not logged on their system. They said the layout is different to theirs, coincidentally they changed their layout at the same time and the one i've been sent should have included these changes but hasnt. They said it doesnt have the coat of arms on it. They must be blind cos the coat of arms are on the back of it with a watermark. Someone has issued it and I guess I'm not likely to ever find out who, but it is concerning and it would be to anyone.

I'm trying to find out as much as I can through other channels, to assist my union and MP with enquiries. Something else I found out yesterday on their website.. the staff email can be accessed via the website from anywhere. I guess thats not too surprising really.

One thing we are waiting for is an official response from the staff member whose email address was used to send the email.

I dont need a PGCE and havent for ten years now, I'm qualified and completed my NQTyear in 05, I love teaching, I'm on the upper pay scale, I've management experience. I just made enquiries about the training route I took like we all would (to assist the GTCS). PGCEs are awarded to folk completing the route I went through, so why would I question its legitimacy when I've received it? I didnt.

As much qualified information as possible on Headers in emails is appreciated in this forum, to help qualify my enquiries with the Uni and get answers. Maybe I should ask to visit their technical area and see the full Header from the Header information they sent (seeing as they only sent an extract).. thats not too much to ask is it. I've requested this over the phone with no luck.

I think I have enough on 'email spoofing', but wouldnt mind knowing how easy/difficult it would be to highlight Header information; copy&paste to something; edit; and printout. Until I physically see the Header they've sent me an extract from to verify what they say is true, and until they inform me of the internal investigations they did... course I'll be suspicious (wouldnt anyone or is it just me?).

Thankyou in advance of further useful feedback from anyone.

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