The Fake Credentials Industry is Feasting During Down Economy ( 8/13/2009)


Hank Williams’ song line ‘one man’s famine, is another man’s feast’ has proven to be true with the economy in a down spin diploma mills and websites providing fake credentials for references to degrees are seeing rapid growth. It is estimated that there are as many as 3,000 such firms worldwide and more than 700 of them are in the US.

While diploma mills have been around for years a new development has been the emergence of firms providing fake experience certificates and references. This first came to light last year from a report issued by KPMG India. KPMG report revealed the existence of 150-250 such firms, often masquerading as information technology (IT) companies. KPMG India’s executive director Rohit Mahajan stated “There are some kind of set-ups that issue fraudulent experience certificates. We have identified almost 150 firms that are fictitious companies.” “During our background verification process for clients over the past one year, we found 250 firms that fake experience letters, salary slips and relieving letters to candidates,” added Abhay Aggarwal, chief executive of Integrity Verification Services Pvt. Ltd.

Jason Morris, CEO, EmployeeScreeningIQ and Past President, NAPBS believes this is not a problem that is likely unique to India. He believes we see it there now because of the high concentration of BPO and Call Centers, but believes as other countries compete for this business we will see these fake experience providers show up there as well. Jason added, “It also is a business that desperation breeds because ‘people have to work’ so when there is a down turn or lack of opportunities people get creative in finding ways to get a job. When people are desperate they will take any means necessary to support themselves and their family.” Jason was prophetic with his comments because with the many of the economies of the world struggling and unemployment souring people are desperate for jobs and making desperate decisions.