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Linkedin Fake Profiles and False Candidates – How to Avoid Them

Posted On   date04/01/2022

Linkedin Fake Profiles and False Candidates – How to Avoid Them

The new year brings a lot of hope for many, and one of the main sources of well-being for anyone is having a good job. However, some people go too far with their desire to find the perfect job. Putting a little makeup on the resume is a very common practice, especially in international recruiting. After all, everyone wants to look their best in their resume. We all want to highlight our qualities, skills and the most relevant experience that qualifies us for a job. The real problem is when highlighting becomes lying, faking and forging, which unfortunately is seen far too often in Linkedin profiles these days.

As any social media platform, Linkedin has no resources to verify the information that people add in their profile. The idea is to be able to share the information, but verifying is a process that employers need to take care of. If they don’t, they are at serious risk.  A little extra due diligence upfront can save serious money down the road.  No manager or HR department wants the liability of hiring a fraud, so evidence matters.

Real background check investigations require trained investigators to verify the identity and background of the candidate, no matter how many connections or how pretty the Linkedin profile.  In international hiring, the risk for fraud, false documents and fake resumes are exponentially higher, and proper verification is critical.

Linkedin can also give employers a false sense of security, especially because all past and current employment and education claims are usually linked to the official Linkedin pages of the companies and schools. But the truth is that companies and schools do not have the resources to confirm or deny the information, or to contact Linkedin every single time there is a false claim on the platform. Social media is a world of unverified information, where anyone can post whatever information they like (unless cancelled or censored), and although free speech is fading, fraud and fake profiles are here to stay.

“Properly verifying a Linkedin profile of a candidate is part of the recruiting process, but it needs to be handled by professional investigators, especially when it involves international hiring and international candidates,” says John Wallace, Director of Background Check Investigations at Wymoo International. The employer is ultimately responsible of making sure the candidate is screened, but this does not mean that they should play private investigator.  Having trained investigators in the country where you need them who speak the language and have access to local records is key for uncovering clear evidence.  Searching the internet and checking criminal records is not an investigation and not risk mitigation, especially from a different continent and language!

Hiring an expert to conduct international employment screenings is a wise investment. In the first place, it is good to have an unbiased third party verify the information.  Private investigators have the resources to efficiently verify every piece of information: from accessing government records to verifying the identity, name and date of birth, passport and documents, to investigators on the ground who can speak with previous employers, schools, and more.  A proper international background check investigation is comprehensive process to verify candidates and profiles, and lower your risk.

To avoid making a big mistake with a candidate who is faking their identity, education or experience, the best is to conduct a thorough background check investigation. Every claim needs to be verified directly at the sources, which means having to verify birth records at the corresponding birth registry, confirming the legitimacy of documents like IDs at the issuing entity, etc. When it comes to past employment, it is important to try to obtain additional insights besides the position, time frame and job role. Asking for references is a good way to learn if the candidate has been a positive team member in the past.

Keep in mind that fraudsters have made it all the way to high corporate positions with lies that nobody cared to verify in the past. Do not assume that others have gone through this process before, or that they have done it well. Fraud is endemic and it costs businesses a fortune.  Speak to a professional before you make your next hire, even if the Linkedin profile has 1,000 connections and appears to be the real thing!

C. Wright
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