chris rea
Chris Rea manages Prospects fraud service
Prospects

Half of UK employers have been victims of degree fraud

Half of UK employers have fallen foul of degree fraud yet many do not take steps to safeguard their business.

Prospects, which runs the Hedd degree verification and fraud service, surveyed employers about how they are tackling degree fraud.

The survey1 found that 49% of large businesses and 48% of SMEs have encountered a candidate who had lied about their degree qualifications such as falsely claiming a degree or inflating their grade.

While 83% of employers surveyed believed that some of their hires would have lied about their degrees, a fifth did not verify degree qualifications. Some employers reported that they spoke to tutors or used references instead while others assumed integrity or valued interview performance over qualifications.

Chris Rea, Head of Higher Education Services at Prospects said: “People fail to realise that lying on their CV can result in them being prosecuted for fraud. Coupled with the multitude of fake universities and degree certificates in circulation, degree fraud is a high risk business for employers.

“Businesses need to be able to trust their staff, so it’s important to ensure integrity right at the very start. Checking a degree with university records is the only way to protect your organisation. It should come hand in hand with checking references.”

Prospects’ findings feature in the CVs Uncovered 2019 report by Credence Background Screening Limited, which also reported analysis of almost 55,000 CVs and revealed that a quarter contained inconsistencies of which 15% related to a candidate’s academic achievements.

Hedley Clark, Managing Director of Credence said: “Our findings emphasise the need for employers to have robust background screening procedures in place to protect their business, brand and reputation.”

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