Degrees of fraud


CV fraud refers to a person providing false or misleading information in their CV that would give them a marked advantage over a similar job-seeker. This usually pertains to misrepresenting or completely falsifying a degree of qualification that you hold.

Khomi Makhubele, Managing Executive of Marketing & Strategic Relationships (MSR) at Quest Staffing Solutions, says this can also refer to people claiming to have completed a degree for which they only registered, or claiming the degree was obtained at a different university or college (including an overseas one). There have also been cases of candidates buying legitimate-looking diplomas from corrupt officials at institutions of higher learning.


 Kirsten Halcrow, CEO of Employers’ Mutual Protection Service (EMPS), one of SA’s premier background -checking businesses, says CV fraud is a serious problem in the country due to our staggeringly high unemployment figures. “Even graduates can’t find jobs, so people are desperate. It isn’t a new phenomenon, but we don’t believe there was as much awareness of it 10 years ago. There are many people in positions today which they landed using fake qualifications,” she says.

Makhubele believes the younger generation might also feel entitled to jobs since SA transitioned into democracy. “Many people believe the new dispensation gives them the right to a job. If they struggle to obtain a position, they’ll lie to secure it. They assume that this is what their forefathers fought for [in the struggle], so they deserve to be employed, regardless of their experience or qualifications,” he says.

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