This has already happened to many academics, particularly the young and struggling ones. You get an email. A representative of a publisher with a serious-sounding name tells you that your long-forgotten PhD or even MA thesis was discovered by them and deemed worthy of publication. Would you kindly agree? Flattered, you say yes.
Currently some of the most advertised "online universities" are Eton University, Notting Hill College, Steadford University, Midtown University and Mayfield University. These are completely bogus higher education institutions. They have no relevant accreditation. Instead, they claim accreditation by various non-official bodies. But they are not the only ones. This is a game where names change fast. The only thing that remains is a trail of completely worthless degrees.
Lecturers often don’t even realize how easy it is for their students to simply plagiarize or mail-order a paper. In some cases, of course, cheating is as easy to engage in as it is to spot. A simple Google search with key phrases can help identify the online sources that the student copy-pasted from.
Things get more difficult with specialized websites that produce a term paper or a dissertation on request.