Employment References: Would You Recognize a Fake?

fake_reference_check employment reference job_referenceDid you know you can purchase fake employment references?  Call me naïve but I had no idea this service existed before I began researching the world of background checking.

Recently I was asked to provide a reference for a former employee.  No problem.  The person in question has an excellent work ethic, good interpersonal skills, and reported directly to me for a long enough period that I could confidently comment.  However, the request was for me to provide my comments via an online survey.  I was a little taken aback that a major financial institution would rely on such an anonymous method.

This made me curious.  Was I just being a stick in the mud?  Am I behind the times and need a boot into the 21st century of reference checking?  I decided to ask my professional network on LinkedIn for their opinion on this method.  The responses were varied and well thought out.  Some said they would absolutely not participate using an online survey, some said they would.  A couple of commenters brought up the convenience factor when one is working overseas.  Because the online survey is available 24 hours a day, it circumvents time zone challenges.  Good point.  Still…

Here’s the web site I found that really shocked me:  The Reference Store

virtual_references employment reference fake_references

I’ll just let that site speak for itself.

Then I found this: BackCheck says they captured CareerExcuse.com providing a fake employment check interview .  Click the link to watch a 7-minute fraud in action.  The conversation includes a bogus web site (that conveniently shares no information other than an under construction notice) and apparently costs only $200.  Would you be able to spot a fake reference?

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