What You Need to Know about CV Fraud

CV fraud is becoming largely common and is a constantly-growing issue. One in five people, that’s twenty percent of the UK population, have themselves, or know someone who has, lied about a qualification on their CV in the last 12 months.

Furthermore, two in five people who suspected a colleague of CV fraud would choose not report it to their HR department, even if they could do so anonymously. Statistics like this are fuelling a surge in CV fraud, as the UK fraud prevention service Cifas warns that 38% of those between the ages of 16-24, have either lied on their CV themselves or knew someone that had. 

This statistic pips just higher than those between the ages of 35-44, of which 30% said the same as their younger counterparts. 

The following blog explores the specific reasons these statistics are rising at an alarming rate and the consequences of lying on your CV. 

Why do People Commit CV Fraud?

In today’s job market, roles are requiring higher levels of education, including a bachelor's degree or higher to be considered for the role. Job roles that did not require these qualifications previously are now seeking individuals with this level of education, leaving those with lower levels of education without a chance of succeeding.

The internet has now made it easier than ever to obtain fake qualifications to display on your CV, making it easier and ‘safer’ to apply for these roles. As the qualifications appear legitimate, employers are then offering the job to these individuals despite a lack in the qualifying criteria.

Is it Illegal to Lie on your CV?

Lying on your CV is indeed illegal and can lead to heavier consequences if you are discovered to have lied when applying for a role you knew you were unqualified for. 

If you have displayed an illegitimate qualification on your CV, this is known as ‘fraud by false misinterpretation’ and in some cases can carry a maximum jail sentence of 10 years. These illegitimate qualifications can range anywhere from tweaking a A-level grades through to stating you have a qualification that you do not. 

Can You be Fired For Lying on your CV?

Types of CV Fraud

Below are some additional types of CV fraud that could be committed and classed as criminal offence:

  1. Falsification of educational qualifications
  2. Inaccurate or inflated job titles
  3. Concealment of employment gaps
  4. Misrepresenting employment dates or tenure
  5. False claims of achievements, awards, or recognition
  6. Fabricating references or providing fake recommendations
  7. Providing misleading information about language proficiency or technical skills
  8. Concealing a criminal record or adverse employment history
passing document to sign

How to Spot CV Fraud

Knowing the types of fraud that are committed is one half of the problem. The other half is knowing how to spot CV fraud and how to deal with it appropriately. Below are eight elements of CV fraud to keep an eye out for when reviewing a CV:

  1. Inconsistent or vague information
  2. Lack of detail or specificity
  3. Overstated accomplishments or responsibilities
  4. Gaps in employment history or missing references
  5. Claims that cannot be verified or checked
  6. Discrepancies between the resume and the application form
  7. Irregular formatting or poor grammar
  8. Excessive or unnecessary personal information

Which Industries are Most Affected?

If you are found to have lied about your qualifications on your CV, there may be more serious repercussions in some sectors than others . These jobs may include those in healthcare and financial services, in which the correct qualifications are vital.

Preventing CV Fraud

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