Job fraud

Job fraud

Job fraud refers to fraudulent or deceptive activity or representation on the part of an employee or prospective employee toward an employer. It is not to be confused with "employment fraud", in which a posing employer scams one who is seeking a job or else fails to pay wages for work performed. There are several types of job frauds that employees or potential employees have been known to commit against employers. While some acts may be illegal under jurisdictional laws, other acts do not violate any laws, but may be held by the employer against the employee or applicant.

Résumé fraud

Résumé fraud or "application fraud" refers to any act that involves providing fictitious, exaggerated, or otherwise misleading information on a job application or résumé in hopes of persuading a potential employer to give applicants jobs for which they may be unqualified or for which they are less qualified than other applicants. [cite web|title=Combat Resume Fraud |url=|publisher=Inquest Pre Employment Screening|accessdate=2007-07-26] Depending on the nature of the offense, the type of job, and the jurisdiction where it occurs, such an act may or may not be a violation of criminal law. In any case, providing knowingly inaccurate information to an employer or potential employer, if discovered by the employer, is almost always grounds for immediate dismissal from the job or else denial of that job.


A number of annual reports, including BDO Hayward's Fraudtrack 4 [ [ "Fraudtrack 4"] ] and CIFAS [ [ CIFAS - The Enemy Within] ] , the UK's fraud prevention service, has shown a rising level of major discrepancies and embellishments on curriculum vitae (CV) over previous years.

Business fraud cost UK businesses 1.4 bn in 2005. [ [ BDO Fraudtrack 4] ]

Recent research released by Powerchex has confirmed this trend. Having measured 3,876 applicants to the UK financial sector over the past year, they found that 17% of potential candidates embellished their CV, and found a trend between a graduates choice of university and their liklihood to lie on their CV. [ [ Powerchex Annual Survey 2008] ] [ [ A Degree of Creativity on CVs] ]


Almost half (48%) of organizations with fewer than 100 staff experienced problems with vetted employees.

39% of UK organisations have experienced a situation where their vetting procedures have allowed an employee to be hired who was later found to have lied or misrepresented themselves in their application. [ [ Powerchex Annual Pre-employment Survey] ]


Younger, more junior people are more likely to have a discrepancy on their CV. Someone in a junior administrative position is 23% more likely to have a discrepancy on their CV than in a managerial role. An applicant aged under 20 is 26% more likely to have a discrepancy than a 51-60 year old. [ [ dofonline] ]

Women are marginally more likely to have a discrepancy on their CV: 13% of applicants submitted by women have a discrepancy compared to only 10% of those for men. [ [ OnRec] ]

Graduates have marginally fewer discrepancies: 13% of their CVs contain a discrepancy compared to 17% of non-graduates.Fact|date=September 2007


*Fake credentials: Some applicants provide false documents that are required or strongly recommended in order to obtain a job. These may include a degree, license, certificate, or other evidence of necessary training or experience that is expected of applicants.
*Fictititious former employer(s): The applicant provides a list of one or more previous employers that he or she never worked for, and that may have never existed. Included could be fake reference letters vouching for the applicant. The absence of a way to contact them may seem plausible, since this applicant may claim they are no longer in business, living far away, or otherwise out of touch.
*Fake "live" employer(s): The applicant arranges with a relative or friend to pose as a former boss. The applicant provides a phone number or other contact information, and when the prospective employer contacts this person, he or she receives a glowing report about the applicant. Since the widespread use of email, this form of communication may also be used by the applicants themselves to pose as former employers.
*Exaggerated claims: The applicant lists a former employer he or she has actually worked for, but leaves out other information with the intent to mislead. Though the employer itself may have a prestigious reputation, the applicant's position may have been a menial.

Examples of résumé fraud

* Getting past the "20 second resume cull" by making bold statements such as claiming "1st place Academic Standing: Session 1, 2005 and Session 2, 2004", and only later qualifying it as being "First place academic standing amongst Information Systems and Management (ISM) scholars". ["Application 1 - Management Consulting." Retrieved December 9, 2007, from] .
* Exaggerated claims such as "I have been awarded prizes or otherwise recognised for being at the very top of my cohort.", which are not supported by the actual grades obtained (which include 13 subjects at only a Distinction level); similarly, claiming that a scholarship was "for the most outstanding student entering the University" when in fact there were multiple scholarships awarded. ["Application 3 - Management Consulting." Retrieved December 9, 2007, from]
* Using awards which have never been heard of elsewhere, nor easily verifiable, such as a "Silver Medallion for Academic Excellence" ["Application 2 - Tourism Internship." Retrieved December 9, 2007, from] , or an "Emeritus Professor Prize" ["Application 3 - Management Consulting." Retrieved December 9, 2007, from] .
* Selective reporting, and use of unofficial terms: rather than reporting an overall grade of credit, a "Distinction Average in Finance; High Credit Average in Law" is used ["Application 4 - Law Clerk." Retrieved December 9, 2007, from] ; similarly, a "Distinction average on all core information systems subjects" helps circumvent unflattering grades in information systems electives and other courses. ["Application 5 - Graduate IT Consultant." Retrieved December 9, 2007, from] . Both "High Credit" and "core information systems subjects" are not defined by the university (UNSW), and thus are used with impunity.

Fraud by active employees

There are other forms of fraudulent methods that employees of jobs use to obtain payroll money from an employer without actually performing any work. These are acts that involve blatant cheating, and do not include those who work at subpar performance.

Some of these acts are:
*Moonlighting: The employee holds a second night job in addition to his or her regular daytime job which he or she performs acceptably. At this second job, however, the employee intentionally sleeps throughout the entire shift, unbeknownst to the supervisor.
*Swiping in absence: The employee arrives at the job site at the beginning of the shift and swipes in to report to work. The employee promptly departs, and his or her absence goes unnoticed in a large workplace. At the end of the shift, the employee returns to swipe out.
*False signature: The employee who is supposed to obtain a supervisor's signature to verify having worked rather signs the form him or herself after not having reported to work. Such acts are usually possible with temp agencies, where contractors are sent to a variety of job sites, and are not known personally by those they would work with.
*Training pay: An applicant obtains a job that will include a fixed amount of paid training. Once the training is finished, the applicant promptly quits. The applicant's original purpose was to obtain pay for training, but not do any further work. Many employers who function this way combat this problem by withholding payment for training until a certain amount of work has been performed.

Depending on the nature of the offense, these violations may be grounds for criminal prosecution or civil damages.


Further reading

*cite web|last=McConnell|first=Charles R.|title=Watching Out for Resume Fraud|url=|publisher=National Federation of Independent Business|date=2004-09-28|accessdate=2007-07-26

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