Melbourne, July 31 : Medical and employer groups are angry at the worldwide selling of counterfeit sick certificates by a group of Oz backpackers.
A London-based group advertises on its website - doctorsnotestore.com - that it can sell exact replicas of sick notes written by any doctor, including the names and stamps of real doctors, without their knowledge.
The counterfeit notes are available for 39.99 dollars.
"The only way to be guaranteed your employer or school will not question your 'sickie' in Australia," the Herald Sun quoted the advertisement as stating.
The website even contains client testimonies about how they have been able to take weeks off work, and holiday refunds by presenting the counterfeits.
"Many of our Australian clients order blank spare sick notes so they have one ready for when they need it," the website suggests.
Operators of the business have told the paper that they are Australian backpackers funding their travels by running the site.
They say that they sell about 100 fake sick certificates in Australia and New Zealand each month, and many more in the UK.
They have even revealed that one of the groups will move back to Australia to continue business next month, which will slash delivery time from five days to two.
The operators have revealed that they "rent" the business for more than 800 dollars a month from a man called Dr. Gerry Shevlin, who was named as the business' managing director in an online press release issued last May.
Australian medical boards have no record of anyone by that name.
The backpackers claim they are the latest group to have been "passed on" the business since 1997 to fund their travels, while its founder spends most of his time in India.
"We are Australians based in London, so we won't be dobbing in on the Aussies," they said.
"Our items are for novelty use only.
"Loads of sites (are) doing it in the USA, nothing illegal about it, we've actually got advice from our British lawyer.
"Business not great in oz possibly due to time to arrive in post," they said.
Outraged by the business, the Australian Medical Association said that forging a doctor's name amounted to fraud.
"Obviously faking a doctor's signature is a criminal offence and medical certificates are legal documents so falsifying them is also a criminal offence," AMA spokesman Associate Professor John Gullotta said.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said that the novelty use disclaimer meant that there was little police could do about the website, and that it was up to employers to catch anyone using them to skip work.
However, David Gregory, the Victorian Employers Chamber of Commerce and Industry head of workplace relations, has warned that employers can sack people found using fake notes, and even pass on cases of fraud to police.
"It purports to be a novelty product, but quite clearly from the detail you have to provide it is just a how-to kit to deceive, mislead and trick your employer and it is outrageous that someone is peddling this sort of stuff," he said.