Fake Job Reference Services

You may have heard about new web-based services that are offering fake work histories and references for job seekers. In tough economic times, some unemployed job seekers are taking desperate measures to make up for a spotty work history or poor references. As an employer, this means it's more important than ever that you conduct due diligence on potential employees before you hire them.

One such website is CareerExcuse.com, where job seekers can sign up for a service to provide fake employment references, or to confirm non-existent previous employment. Job seekers with bad references or inconsistent employment history are turning to this kind of service to create a bogus history for themselves that they can present to potential employers. While this website could potentially be exposed to claims of fraud ormisrepresentation, the fact is that they're in business and candidates are using their services.

What can you do to avoid falling victim to this trap? Ensure you have a thorough process for vetting potential employees. Call any references that are provided by the candidate, but also use your own contacts to find out what you can about anyone you want to hire. And use a background check vendor to verify previous employment and check criminal records. A credit check can also help to verify previous employment. As with any background check, follow the applicable laws regarding notification and documentation to applicants, signed releases for obtaining information and disclosure of any results that adversely impact a candidate's eligibility for hire. Research any companies that appear suspicious on a resume, as candidates using this kind of service may list non-existent companies. CareerExcuse promotes the use ofbankrupt companies as fictional previous employers because there's no way to verify prior employment if the company no longer exists. You can get around this by requesting a copy of a paystub from that employer, and contacting other individuals who actually worked there to determine if the candidate is telling the truth. Use LinkedIn to search for people by company name to find someone who would have worked with the individual and can verify employment.

If you have significant trouble verifying the information provided by the candidate, or suspect that you may be receiving false information from a company like the website CareerExcuse.com, err on the side of caution and reconsider hiring the candidate. Hiring someone without proper due diligence could put you, your company and your employees at risk for negligent hiring or worse.


Allison Grace, CEBS, CCP, CMS, is President and Founder of Instant HR Solutions and a human resources professional with more than nineteen years of experience. As a consultant, Allison has worked with companies in various industries including hedge funds, technology, oil and gas development, recruiting and accounting. Combined with technical training and professional certifications, Allison’s practical experience includes working in all aspects of human resources to establish HR programs t...

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