Employment fraud on the rise

Employment application fraud made up over half of all confirmed frauds recorded to the UK’s fraud prevention service (CIFAS) in the first half of 2014.

Job applicants making serious false declarations about anything from employment history and qualifications to criminal records made up 63 per cent of fraud reported to the service.

The most common reason for recording unsuccessful Employment Application Frauds was the concealing of bad credit history when the position – frequently in financial services – has a regulatory requirement of a clean credit and financial history.

For successful Employment Application Frauds, however, the main reason was the concealing of unspent criminal convictions.

This is likely to be due to the time lag between an individual accepting a job and the relevant vetting and Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly CRB) checks to be completed and returned to the new employer.

The current percentage reflects last years figures and CIFAS has stressed how important it is applicants understand that lying in an application has serious repercussions, such as dismissal and in worst case scenarios, criminal charges.

The scale of the reported fraud is also proof that organisations are running more stringent checks than ever before. However, CIFAS has observed that while it is concerning that an increasing number of individuals are turning to fraud to gain employment, it is encouraging that most of them – 70 per cent – were unsuccessful.

This high proportion indicates that organisations are catching them out before there is any chance of financial, reputational or regulatory damage.

CIFAS Chief Executive, Simon Dukes, said: “While competition for jobs is fierce, the temptation to lie to make an application or CV stand out might seem appealing.

“However, fraudulent declarations can have very serious consequences. Not only can it lead to dismissal when discovered but – if an applicant finds him or herself in a position for which they are not suitable, due to a fraudulent declaration – then they can cause financial damage to an organisation and lead it into reputational and regulatory trouble too.”

“Organisations have long been expected to verify the details given to them by customers. They have now come to recognise that they also need to apply those same standards to prospective employees. For applicants, therefore, it really is better to be honest rather than trying to mislead, only to end up in bigger trouble as a result.”

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