With unemployment rates continuing to escalate and the cost-of-living soaring people are increasingly desperate to find work and will stop at nothing to get their job application to the top of the pile.

It is incredibly simple to falsify employment references, so much so that there are thousands of memes and videos of people doing just that. If references are easy enough to fake that people are joking about it, references need to be verified, now more than ever.

Jenny Reid, the founder of iFacts, is urging organisations not to take any information at face value. This includes CV reference details on job applications. Reid said that it was now essential to verify information provided on CVs, as more and more reference houses are appearing, as well as fake information on job applications.

Reference houses are typically set up to supply false information directly to a potential employer on behalf of an applicant in exchange for money, says Reid.

The criminals themselves will even go as far as to answer phone calls to confirm a candidate’s history and/or qualifications. They may also conduct their fraudulent operation via a website, giving the impression of a legitimate company, to alleviate any suspicions during the all-important pre-employment screening checks. 

They have been found to have created a fully fraudulent CV with references, qualifications, etc., that were all verified via their contact details.

References are an essential part of any pre-employment process but can also be one of the most tedious parts of the hiring process and, as such, are often skipped. 

There are international online screening tools where data can be input and automatically processed but at iFacts, we have found these are not always as accurate as one might hope. Along with reference houses, various other methods are available to try and manipulate the reference checking system, thus making proper verification of references, more difficult still.

Some of the more common methods used are:

If an applicant is found to have provided a false reference to gain employment, their integrity should immediately come into question.

However, if the fraudulent act goes under the radar during the pre-employment stage, the candidate could be the employee that costs not only money but the company’s reputation in the future.

Thorough employment reference checks need to be done in order to verify everything a candidate has offered is the truth. Failing to do comprehensive reference verifications could result in your company’s reputation falling into disrepute.

iFacts can help.

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