Can You Spot a Fake Reference?

Sites offering fake reference services continue to spring up, raising questions over whether the process is flawed from the outset, and whether it’s time to up the ante and background-check referees. According to background screening expert Jeff Wizceb, the process of signing up for a fake reference is easy and these sites are doing big business. Five tips for effective reference checking include: At interview stage confirm with the candidate who is the appropriate person to call. Do not rely on who is written on the resume; If the referee to call is not the person noted on the resume, ask the candidate why and ask for written permission to contact the referee; Ensure you identify the person you are talking to; never conduct reference checks on mobile telephone numbers; Ask the dates of employment, but be sure not to offer these yourself – get the referee to offer them. Ensure the questions are relevant and open-ended rather than those requiring ‘yes/no’ responses. You may need to do more than one reference check at a single organization to rule out any personal issues, ill-feeling between people, or importantly, a bona fide fake.

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