Shocking Fake References Industry exposed by Liverpool Lie Detector Test

Feb 21, 2020

Having already implemented periodic polygraph tests in the workplace our client called us about what he thought might be fake references and qualifications in a CV.  The ensuing Liverpool lie detector test we administered to one of his employees revealed a quite shocking industry that we had no idea existed.

Paul’s Case

Paul hadn’t wanted to employ Gillian at his office, but she was his brother’s girlfriend and he wanted to help. They’d struggled to make ends meet since she lost her previous job at the local supermarket.  Paul needed a personal assistant and he thought getting a step up from checkout girl would give Gillian a boost.

He never expected her to be qualified for the job and was pleasantly surprised when he saw her CV with its glowing references. She’d only been in his brother Clive’s life for 6 months and Paul really didn’t know much about her. He chastised himself for jumping to conclusions given her previous role and was ecstatic to have found someone so well qualified for the job.

Lack of computer literacy

Gillian started off great but the cracks started to show when Paul asked her to mock up a presentation for him on PowerPoint. She’d struggled with the task and it had taken days, instead of a few hours. There were also a lot of mistakes in her letters, silly mistakes like forgetting a full stop or a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence. Paul then asked her to complete some work in Excel and questioned her when he saw she was using a calculator. Excel does the adding for you, why would she need to use a calculator? Gillian’s CV said she was an expert in Microsoft Office, so why wouldn’t she be using formulae to make her life easier.

A little rusty

Gillian explained she was a little rusty, she hadn’t had an office job for a year and she was just finding her feet. However, the way she was working didn’t reflect the glowing references she’d been given. When she got the staff wages wrong, Paul knew he needed to do something and decided to review her application and references.  All the businesses she’d worked for checked out in that they appeared to exist, but something didn’t seem right.

Apart from the most recent supermarket job none of the other employers had phone numbers on their websites.  The only way to contact them was via their web forms. Paul duly completed a couple of the forms and waited.  He received a response from both companies within 24 hours confirming that Gillian had worked for them.  However, the people who signed off the emails still didn’t include a phone number. A quick check at Companies House revealed the companies didn’t exist.

Periodic polygraph tests

Paul had written periodic polygraph tests into his employment contracts a year before hiring Gillian but had never needed to book one.  In signing their contracts all employees had agreed to take the tests when required. He felt bad but there was clearly something wrong and he wanted to get to the bottom of it. He wondered whether Gillian had supplied fake references that had been provided by friends of hers.

The results from our Liverpool lie detector test revealed something far worse than asking mates to give you references. Gillian had been asked if her references were real. When her answer had shown she was being deceptive she broke down. Gillian admitted to our examiner that she had paid a company online for fake references. The company had been so good that for just over £100 they’d even created a fake website to fool any potential employers. The qualifications she had included in her CV were also false.

Second chance

Paul was upset that his brother’s girlfriend had lied to him. If she had just admitted how desperate they were, he’d have given her the job anyway and the training to do it. There would have been no need to make her go through a polygraph examination.  He decided to provide the training she needed and she is now the best personal assistant he’s ever had.   He’s happy he gave her a second chance as he is now expecting his first nephew.

Fake references

The results of the Liverpool lie detector test caused us to do some research.  We have worked in the pre-employment screening process for some years. It’s not uncommon for job candidates to embellish their qualifications and experience.  Fake references are often supplied by friends but we had no idea there was an industry supplying them.  We found several companies online offering the service. In addition we discovered a ‘Fake Britain’ episode on YouTube highlighting the industry. Despite the programme being aired in 2016 scammers are still openly advertising their services!

The consequences of employees lying on their CVs can be severe. It may be considered by a court that they have gained a pecuniary advantage by deception under the Theft Act 1968. Section 16c of the Act makes obtaining employment by deception a criminal offence.

North West Polygraph Services

Our North West polygraph services are available to anyone seeking the truth of any matter.  Employers who would like to know more about periodic lie detector tests in the workplace please contact our free helpline on 0800 368 8277.  As you can expect from any professional service provider, your call will be handled with the utmost confidentiality.

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