What is Job Fraud?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 29 December 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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Job fraud is a deceptive activity on the part of the employee or applicant. It's not the same as employment fraud, in which it's the potential or actual employer who is deceptive. In the case of job fraud, the applicant or employee may make up information on a resume, give employers false reference letters or stretch the facts of his or her accomplishments and be misleading.

For example, an applicant may have won a scholarship, but it was for several college classes and not full tuition to a program. By not being specific, job fraud can occur when applicants are deliberately trying to be vague and misleading. When they lie outright and make a claim that has no base in reality, such as to say a scholarship was awarded to them when none ever was, it's also fraudulent toward the future or present employer.


If an employer discovers a misrepresentation or factual discrepancy, he or she may terminate employment, in some cases, even immediately firing the person depending on laws and any employment agreement contract signed by the individual. If the individual is applying for a job and the potential employer discovers fraud, he or she can refuse to hire that person. If the fraud is considered illegal within a certain area or country, the employer may decide to press charges. Employers who have had their time and company resources wasted by job fraud, such as being misled in hiring a person who doesn't really have the several years of experience he or she reported, may be the most motivated to press charges.

Studies show that the most likely people to be deceptive on their resumes are younger individuals who don't have the credentials, such as the education or years of experience, for which a company is asking applicants to possess. Misleading resumes or fake job references may be created by any age person though in any line of work. Some deceptive job applicants even go so far as to have family members or friends play the roles of past employers by listing their phone numbers on his or her resume rather than past places of employment. They may also produce fake reference letters that state what a great employee the individual was; this written communication is then also fraudulently signed using someone's real name or an invented one.



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