Thursday, 26 May 2016 09:56

Qualification fraud on rise during economic turmoil

The current economic turmoil in South Africa is likely to affect the already strained job market, and in a country with one of the highest unemployment rates globally, job seekers have the potential of becoming even more desperate in their pursuit of employment.

This will certainly intensify the problem for hiring managers, advises Rudi Kruger general manager of LexisNexis Governance, Risk & Compliance. “As anxiety for employment grows, job seekers run the risk of furnishing their applications with dishonest information to make themselves appear more suitable for the job.”

He said employers could be confronted with fake employment certificates, incorrect past roles and responsibilities, inflated job titles, undisclosed criminal records and inflated salaries. “Of these, the most prevalent types of qualification fraud we have found include non-existent matric certificates, inflated education, unfinished degrees and fake degree certificates,” Kruger added. The second and possibly more alarming effect of this economic crisis is the possibility of existing staff being tempted into commercial fraud. In times of economic hardship, it is only the most reliable of employees that businesses should place trust in. “The bottom line is that nobody can afford any mishaps or problems in this kind of national economic state,” said Kruger. “No business should be exposed and those in charge need to ensure that the business is protected by ensuring that the right people are allowed to work in the business with access to sensitive internal information.” “Don’t become a victim of fraud. Protect yourself and your business by maintaining a staff of employees that are credible and avoid financial losses and expensive legal action incurred through employing people with questionable integrity and skills,” warned Kruger. To assist with employee screening, LexisNexis Governance, Risk & Compliance division offers RefCheck Advanced, an easy-to-use screening solution which can verify a wide range of personal information, including identity of candidate, information held by credit bureaus, criminal records, driver's licenses, global academic qualifications and professional association memberships. This product, which is utilised by more than 2000 companies and recruitment agencies, can also provide a valuable employee due diligence and audit tool. RefCheck services include verification of tertiary and secondary academic qualifications held by the individual from registered local and international institutions; identity and South African citizenship validation; fraud history checks via the South African Fraud Prevention Services; credit history checks through detailed TransUnion and Experian credit bureau reports; criminal history check via AFISwitch (electronic fingerprint collection and processing); verification of local and international employment history and professional association membership; verification of drivers’ licence status; and matching of bank account against an identity number or registration number. As an online consent-driven service, RefCheck allows 24/7 access which is password and username restricted. A user can determine which information they require verification for each candidate, dependent on position or seniority. The solution carries no registration cost or monthly subscription fee, with users being charged only for usage via a monthly statement.

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