Fake reference services, can they do harm to your career? - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Fake reference services, can they do harm to your career?

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What would you do to get a job? Some websites are selling fake job references to help desperate job seekers get work. With so many people out of work for so long searching for a job only leads to more misery.

Some call it a sign of the times as job seekers desperate for an edge are going online to get fake job references. Paladin Deception Services offers that service for a fee.

"The leader in covert disinformation", the site boasts that they will offer the "fictitious reference," the "little white lie" or the "alibi that you need."

Tim Green, the founder of Paladin Deception Services calls himself a "paid liar," and says more than half his business comes from people looking for fake job references.

"Our clients have a gap in work history or have been employed in the past with a supervisor that will not provide them with a positive reference," said Green.

Here's how it works, for 59 dollars a month Paladin Deception Services sets up a phone line, with an area code in the city of your choice along with a voicemail, email and operators standing by ready to answer questions from prospective employers. "We would then provide the reference that is needed," said Green.

Other businesses offering similar services, go further, claiming to build fake websites and even plotting fake business on a map. "These are folks out of work entirely or are working at a very substandard level," said Green.

"You're talking about putting out information that's false for some kind of pecuniary gain economic gain, that's just fraud," said attorney Adrian Fontes.

Fontes says by giving false information to an employer, you might be doing damage that will last beyond your career. "The reality is if folks like this are found to be doing these sorts of things, they've opened themselves up to all sorts of liability," he said.

Green says what he does is perfectly legal however there are lines he won't cross. "We will not impersonate any real person or company...we will not give any kind of alibis or verifications in any sort of legal setting," said Green.

Mike Hayes with momentum staffing matches employees with employers. He says there are ways for employers to protect themselves. "Suppose they give the number "hey I worked at XYZ here's the phone number talk to betty", we don't usually talk to Betty, we Google and find the place ourselves then call into the H. R. department directly... then a lot of times we require that they send us an email or a fax," said Hayes.

"It's difficult for people to get experience get jobs... I understand that the worst way to start your career is by lying," said Fontes.

A 2012 survey from Careerbuilder found 29 percent of employers say they caught a fake reference on an application. "But at this point my conscious is clean my moral compass is in tact believing we are providing a service for clients," said Green.

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