CV clones pose threat to employers as organised criminal target jobseekers

Organised criminals are using cloned career histories to deceive recruiters into hiring them for positions that could enable them to commit fraud, according to security experts.

A survey conducted by credit information specialist Experian found that 63%of profesionals included career details in their personal profiles online and as many as one in 10 people now publish their whole CV on social networking sites such as LinkedIn, leaving themselves at risk of ‘career cloning‘.

Avis Easteal, general manager of Experian Background Checking, said: “Improvements in anti-fraud measures have pushed organised criminals to look at new options and approaches. This means that there is the possibility that fraudsters will increasingly look to take on the identities and career histories of third parties to secure employment within companies for the purposes of committing fraud.

“Today, no–one can accept a CV at face value. Companies need to be incredibly careful about those they employ in positions of trust and have robust anti-fraud policies and protection measures in place to cover every eventuality.”

Vanessa Robinson, manager of organisation and resourcing at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said that following “robust recruitment processes” and asking detailed questions during the interview process would single out those using cloned CVs.

A survey published last month by professional services firm KPMG, Forensic Fraud Barometer, showed that fraud was nearing record levels. In 2008, fraud by managers and employees grew to £228m, up from £81m in 2007.

Chris Hawkins, assistant vice–president of operations atpre-employment screening firm BackCheck, agreed that people publishing personal information online was leading to an increase in fraud and said HR departments need to ensure that background checks were done without exceptions.

“HR departments are generally overworked and have such a wide range of responsibilities. For many, background checks are the first thing to be dropped when it gets busy,“ said Hawkins.

Both Hawkins and Easteal recommended that recruiters conduct both credit checks with ID verifications and basic level criminal records checks.

Personnel Today reported last summer that some employers were taking background checks too far by illegally requesting Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks.

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