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Latest figures from Cifas show that CV fraud has risen in the past year

CV Fraud

Following surveys conducted between August and September 2022, Cifas has pub-lished the latest information regarding first-party fraud. Respondents of the survey were asked whether they, or someone they know, has lied on a CV and what their opinions or reactions were to that information. 

Key figures from the report include: 

  • Nearly 20% of people in the UK have, or know someone who has lied on their CV in the last 12 months (this is a rise from 17% last year)
  • 38% of 16-24 year olds had, or knew someone who had lied on their CV
  • Almost 30% of 35-44 year olds had, or knew someone who had lied on their CV
  • 2 in 5 respondents who suspected a colleague of CV fraud would not report it to HR, even anonymously (this is a rise from 1 in 3 people last year)

Cifas have suggested that as the UK employment market starts to cool with a recent fall in job vacancies, competition for roles will increase, as will the likelihood of CV fraud. 

It is not just competitive job markets that fuel CV fraud, but also sectors suffering from talent shortages and significant demand pipelines to fill, such as the technology and software development sector. A recent report from the Times of India has identified a surge in CV fraud in India over the past 18 months as more organisations start to em-brace digitisation and require developer teams to fulfil demand.  

The report details that the combination of aggressive recruitment targets, fast onboarding, and the increase of virtual recruitment methods led to a significant in-crease in the use of fake documentation and substantial omissions in CVs. 

"Some candidates were unwilling to share their bank statements (to check if they were receiving regular salaries earlier). We dug deeper and found gaps in their employment history, with several omissions in their resumes.”
- Saravanan Balasundaram, CEO of Han Digital

False Employment Applications

In addition to the reported increase in CV Fraud, Cifas have also released figures showing an increase in false employment applications since 2020.  

Cifas’ annual Fraudscape report, which was published in April 2022, reported that false employment application (unsuccessful), accounts for 39% of the cases recorded to the Enhanced Internal Fraud Database in 2021, which was a 10% increase since 2020.  

Filings included omission of information from applications such as adverse cred-it, concealed addresses, and concealed employment histories. 

“In a tough jobs market, job seekers may feel that they need to give them-selves the advantage over their competitors by embellishing their CV. Howev-er, if they are later exposed, the likely outcome would be dismissal on grounds of gross misconduct, which will have a lasting negative impact upon future employment. Further, whilst this may be perceived as a “victimless crime” – if I can do the job, where’s the harm? – the employer may be exposed to claims from customers or clients if key staff who are held out as having certain expe-rience or qualifications are later found out to have neither.”
- Esther Marshall, Senior Associate, Mullis & Peake Solicitors

Although recent case law now allows UK employers to take individuals who commit serious CV fraud to court, in order to avoid the unnecessary risk and exposure in the first place, it is recommended that organisations utilise robust pre-employment screening practises for all future candidates. 

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