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Verifying education claims? Don’t just call the school

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in Employment Background Check,Hiring,Human Resources

Issue: Applicants are taking résumé fraud to a new high-tech level.

Risk: Hackers could alter an applicant's school records, undermining your background check.

Action: Probe deeper into applicants' education backgrounds using "magic bullet" questions.

Beware: Some job applicants are taking big-time shortcuts to their college degrees. According to a Reuters report, they're simply paying a computer hacker to break into the college's computer and add their names to the class list.

So if a prospective employer or recruiting firm calls to check, the school would confirm the information because the applicant's name would appear on the list.

Another ruse: Some applicants provide employers with toll-free phone numbers, which are answered by operators of Web sites that not only offer phony academic degrees, but also "verify" that education over the phone. (Don't believe us? Visit or!)

Advice: A quick call to the school is no longer enough to legitimately verify an applicant's education background. Instead, request degrees and grades. Probe deeper about the classes taken. Or ask something like "Is Jim Tyler still teaching Accounting 101 there?" If the employee seems flustered or fakes it, you know you've got a liar on your hands.

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