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June 27 2019

Cifas: 150% Rise in False References

The latest Fraudscape report from Cifas shows that employment application fraud is still high. This follows the BDO’s FraudTrack 2018 report, which that stated employee fraud cost organisations almost £500 million in 2017. Employee fraud not only has a significant impact on an organisation's finances but can also damage reputation and staff morale.

According to Cifas, hiding unspent criminal convictions remained the most common form of fraudulent conduct when the employment application was successful. False references saw an increase of 150% in 2018 compared to 2017, the highest number in five years. That's why Verifile go directly to employers, universities, schools, and others when undertaking pre-employment checks, instead of relying on referees that the candidate supplies.
Degree fraud is also highlighted as a problem and includes:   

  • the creation of fake degree certificates (counterfeit versions of degree certificates from real universities)
  • the operation of diploma mills (which sell unrecognised degrees for a fee, usually based on “life experience”)
  • exaggeration or outright lies on CVs
With the use of design software and colour printers, fraudsters now have access to the tools they need to create realistic versions of certificates. Even professionals in university registry offices can sometimes find it difficult to distinguish a fake certificate from a genuine one, so verifying degrees directly with the university is essential. Cifas advises that “Only when all employers check the authenticity of all their hires all the time will degree fraud be eradicated.”

For more information on how we can help you reduce your risk via a tailored pre-employment screening policy, please contact us.