Published: May 21, 2010 2:42 AM EDT
Updated: May 21, 2010 5:26 AM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Many unemployed Americans are going back to school to get a job. but one woman trying to get her high school diploma online said she did it all for nothing!

It's because the school isn't real, but she didn't find that out until it was too late.

This woman needed a diploma to go to school to become an x-ray technician. She said when she went to the Heritage Institute they turned her away - saying the diploma she brought in was fake.

Vanessa Morales works at Rita's Daycare, but wants more... so she went back to school and got her degree on-line from Belford High School. She graduated with A's and B's. Then, she tried to further her education to become an x-ray tech.

"When it came time to see the diploma, unfortunately they said it was no good because it was not an accredited diploma. I wanted to cry and just walked out embarrassed."

The Department of Education said Belford High School is not an accredited school. It's also not recognized by the Better Business Bureau.

"It's embarrassing. They probably thought I knew it was fake and I was trying to go to school with a fake diploma - that was not it. I thought it was real."

So did a lot of other people. Websites like 'Complaints Board' and 'Ripoff Report' are full of wannabee students making the same claims as Morales - saying their diplomas are 'bogus' and 'fake'... even calling the so-called school a 'diploma mill.'

"It's rough and it's sad that they're out there taking people's money."

It is leaving Morales out 300 dollars and keeping her from moving forward.

WINK News tried to get in touch with the Belford High School, but could not get a hold of anyone when we called the number listed.

On their website, the school also claims to work with two other institutes. According to the Department of Education, neither of those are accredited either.