The Background Buzz Insider - Fake References and Resumes
August 11, 2009

Good day, We thought this information we discovered on ‘fake references and resumes’ was important enough that you should know about it immediately so you can make sure that your clients do not hire people based on information from these sites. I hope you find this information useful and we welcome your feedback.

Have a fabulous day and enjoy the rest of your summer.

The Fake Credentials Industry is Feasting During Down Economy

Hank Williams’ song line ‘one man's famine, is another man's feast’ has proven to be true with the economy in a down spin diploma mills and websites providing fake credentials for references to degrees are seeing rapid growth. It is estimated that there are as many as 3,000 such firms worldwide and more than 700 of them are in the US.

While diploma mills have been around for years a new development has been the emergence of firms providing fake experience certificates and references. This first came to light last year from a report issued by KPMG India. KPMG report revealed the existence of 150-250 such firms, often masquerading as information technology (IT) companies. KPMG India's executive director Rohit Mahajan stated, “There are some kind of setups that issue fraudulent experience certificates. We have identified almost 150 firms that are fictitious companies.” Abhay Aggarwal, chief executive of Integrity Verification Services Pvt. Ltd indicated that “During our background verification process for clients over the past one year [2008], we found 250 firms that fake experience letters, salary slips and relieving letters to candidates.”

Jason Morris, CEO, EmployeeScreeningIQ and Past President, NAPBS believes this is not a problem that is likely unique to India. Jason added, “It also is a business that desperation breeds because ‘people have to work’ so when there is a down turn or lack of opportunities people get creative in finding ways to get a job. When people are desperate they will take any means necessary to support themselves and their family.” Jason was prophetic with his comments because with the many of the economies of the world struggling and unemployment souring people are desperate for jobs and making desperate decisions. He also sees this as a real risk to the professional background screening industry because it is very difficult to verify beyond a shadow of doubt that a company giving a reference is legitimate. because anybody can form a company on paper and then start giving out references.

Some of the websites we have discovered that focus on offering fake job references include, and ( and point to this site). In addition, we discovered a site that writes ‘fake resumes’ as well - We pulled the following testimonial from the site "Now I'm working in my dream job... for which I had no experience at all..." We also found this information on the site; “What exactly is a fake resume? Basically, a fake resume is one in which a specific alteration of your employment history is made in order to deceive a human resources person or hiring authority in order to get hired.” They leave no doubt that the purpose and intent is to deceive.

W. Barry Nixon, SPHR is the President of the leading online directory that features background screening firms and co-author of ‘Background Screening Investigations: Managing Hiring Risk from HR and Security Perspectives.’ For More Information contact Barry at



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