So you’ve got something in your job history that you’re looking to hide. Or you’d like to make your earnings look stronger than they actually are. Why not just fib a bit during employment verification? It can’t hurt, right?
Wrong. Lying during verification of your employment details can have an enormous impact on your career and your professional reputation. Here, we’ll look at what can go wrong when you decide to falsify information about your work life.
There are several reasons why someone would lie about their employment history or use a fake employment verification service. When an employment verification request is associated with a financial transaction, such as a new loan, line of credit, or property lease, an employee might want to make their earnings appear higher than they actually are to make it seem like they will be able to manage ongoing payments.
Recruiting is another popular time for employment verification. To better meet the criteria for a new role, a would-be job recruit may lie on their resume or CV to make it seem like they’ve served in roles that they have never held. Finally, an employee who has been terminated or had a bad relationship with a former employer may provide false contacts in order to fulfill the request for a reference.
Lying during employment verification is particularly risky because you're often risking your reputation with several organizations, including the party requesting verification and your current or former employer.
First, there’s the obvious method of simply lying on a resume. For those who want to take things a step further, fake employment verification services are the most common method for falsifying an employment verification.
These fake employment verification services provide a number of solutions to help you falsify employment information. CareerExcuse (https://www.careerexcuse.com/) provides fake references that will lie about a customer’s past work history and “performance.” Those who aren’t willing to pay for Career Excuse’s services may opt to just provide false contact information for references that connect would-be verifiers to someone willing to lie about a person’s job history.
Pay stubs are commonly used as evidence of employment. Individuals can create fake pay stubs in order to make it appear like they’ve worked a role or earned more than they actually did in a position. Pstub.com (http://pstub.com/)enables users to produce fake earnings documents in minutes.
The employment verification process exists, in part, to make it more difficult for employees to lie about their work history, but verifiers should be thorough in examining the evidence that an employee provides. There’s a wealth of resources out there for those looking to game the system, and more are appearing all the time.
There are severe penalties for those who lie during the employment verification process, ranging from losing out on a new job opportunity to imprisonment. Here, we’ll look at some of the possible consequences and examples of individuals whose careers were negatively impacted by their decision to falsify their work history.
You may lose your job.
Lying about your work history during the job application process is typically grounds for termination. Marilee Jones, former dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, resigned in 2007—after nearly 30 years in the role--when it was revealed (https://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/27/us/27mit.html) that she’d lied about her educational credentials when applying for her position.
You may lose legal protection.
Employees who falsify employment verification during the hiring process may also waive the right to sue an employer (https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/what-are-the-consequences-to-lying-or-omitting-information-on-a-job-application-36307)for discrimination or wrongful termination. This leaves the employee with no recourse against an employer who may have discriminated against them, and it puts the employee in danger of tolerating work conditions that are otherwise unacceptable.
You may lose your credentials.
Employees who are licensed may lose their credentials for providing false information about their work history or educational background. Renowned South Florida doctor Richard Dellerson lost his medical license (https://www.sun-sentinel.com/health/fl-xpm-2013-06-07-fl-richard-dellerson-credentials-20130607-story.html) after lying about his credentials during a trial by the state’s medical board in 2013. Dellerson’s reputation within his professional community was irreparably damaged.
You could be sued.
If an employee’s work results in any damages for the company or a client, the employee may be liable for civil suits to recoup any damages incurred during their employment. It can be difficult to calculate the impact of an employee’s actions on a company’s bottom line, so these civil suits can quickly get ugly because employers can try to pin poor performance on individuals who have broken company policy.
You could go to jail.
Lying about military history can have severe consequences. The Stolen Valor Act of 2005 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stolen_Valor_Act_of_2005) sets penalties of up to six months in prison for lying about past military service. Texas resident Carlos Felipe Luna-Gonzalez was jailed in 2014 (https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2014/11/12/former-sailor-accused-of-pretending-to-be-navy-seal/) for falsely claiming to have served as a Navy SEAL.
The repercussions of faking employment verification go far beyond an employee’s missing out on a new opportunity or loan. Lying about your work history can tarnish your reputation for good, especially in smaller industries where word travels fast.
Fake employment verification isn’t worth it
The risks associated with faking employment information during the employment verification process far outweigh the possible benefits. You may end up taking on a loan or other financial obligation that you’re unable to service, or you might secure a job for which you’re unqualified. Fake employment verification services abound, but employers and other third parties are becoming warier of false representation, so it’s likely that even the most careful scammers will get caught. If you’re considering faking your employment verification, leaving unsuccessful past employment off of your resume is as far as you should go. Otherwise, you may face severe consequences.