Website offers fake doctor's notes 'guaranteed to work'
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Let's face it; sometimes you just don't feel like going to work. So perhaps you tell a little white lie and call out sick But that little fib is costing American businesses big bucks.
According to a Forbes Magazine estimate, sick days cost the U.S. economy $273 billion dollars each year. But a business now booming online will sell you a custom made doctors note to get you out of work, school, or just about anything else.
A simple Google search will turn out dozens of websites advertising tailored excuses. BestFakeDoctorsNotes.net offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee to get you out of any unwanted commitment.
Scroll half way down the home page and you can find several testimonials from what looks like satisfied customers. People who say when they don't feel like logging in at the office, they skip the doctor's office and log on to the Internet for a quick get out of work excuse.
One of the videos posted on You Tube shows a man whose faces is blurred touting how well the service worked for him.
"Hi, I ordered your notes and they really worked," the unidentified man says. "I want to thank you. I wasn't sure [about the imposter notes service] I wanted to do it but my boss changed our sick leave policy and totally screwed me in the process."
Another video testimonial says shows a man who said he skipped work for his daughter's birthday saying, "Your notes were so professional and they looked so great and it worked just fine."
BestFakeDoctorsNotes.net promises over 30 phony medical excuses for around $18. The website offers a wide variety of notes from general practitioners, dentists, obstetricians, gynecologists, even oncologists.
And the notes look legitimate; the site even boasts a phony emergency room visit note for sick children.
"It would be hard for me to know this is a fake," David Derouen said in disbelief as he examined one of the notes. "It's honestly impossible."
And the website couldn't be any easier to use. Customers provide a credit or debit card and within minutes they have access to over 30 different medical excuses.
All you have to do is type in your name in the blank space provided and fill out some other information including address and doctors name, slap on a messy signature for aesthetics and you have yourself a professional-looking get-out-of-work excuse.
The site even features a no-cost call-back verification feature that allows users to set up a call-back number and automated voice messaging system.
You can upload a pre-made MP3 file that will sound like an authentic hospital, clinic, or even a doctor's answering machine.
But do the replica notes really work?
ABC News 4's Jon Bruce hit the streets armed with a one real note from a doctor at the Medical University of South Carolina and four fakes to find out if everyday people could spot the difference.
"I think it's this one," said Alexander Lacon, a College of Charleston senior, pointing to one of the notes. "It has the stamp and a verification code."
Lacon like many of the people interviewed for this story chose the imposter note.
"That is crazy," Lacon said. "The one I thought was the fake one was the real one."
Timothy Hesano, who works on boats for a living and admitted he had called out sick before when he wasn't ill, fell for the same phony note.
"It seemed pretty professional with all these different doctors up here. That seems like quite lengthy process to go through for a fake," he said.
The site prominently features a disclaimer which state these notes are sold as a novelty product and are not intended for illegal use.
So are these sham notes legal to be sold online? ABC News 4 asked local attorney David Aylor provide his opinion.
"They state clearly that this is fictitious doctors and fictitious names, fictitious hospitals," Aylor said. "When you look at the promotion of it; what they are promoting is the authenticity of the looking in that it could be used as a form of trickery of an employer getting out of work and getting paid for it."
So while the website may be legal, if you use it, get caught and get fired, could the website be privy to legal action? Aylor says no.
"What you can claim as an owner of the website is that you have no idea what someone is using it for in that once you sell it," he said. "What they determine what they want to do with it is their own decision."
ABC News 4 reached out to the owners of www.fakedoctorsnotes.net several times for comment. The request for an interview was not returned.