Many businesses now offer fake job reference services to people looking to fudge the truth when searching for employment. Clearly, many businesses still rely heavily on references when they are evaluating potential hires, and there are lots of fake references being listed. According to a study by employment services company CareerBuilder, about 30% of employers surveyed reported that they have caught a fake reference on a candidate’s application. In addition, 80% of employers reported that they contact references when evaluating potential employees, and 16% contact references even before they call the candidate for a job interview. One obvious thing companies can do to avoid the problem of fake references is to not place so much importance in the references candidates provide when they apply for a job. References can be easily manipulated and are mostly positive because people don’t like to give critical feedback for legal reasons. Experts say recruiters and HR departments should take advantage of legitimate online resources such as LinkedIn and other business social media sites. Another way to vet references is to engage a reputable background vetting service.