Industry Insight
Lead Technical Recruiter & Account Manager

How to Identify a Fraudulent Candidate

For years, the tech market has been infiltrated by fraudulent candidates trying to wedge their way into the industry. As an employer, it can be challenging to spot authentic candidates over those faking skillsets for a variety of reasons.

Although background checks may already be required at your company, it’s also always a good idea to conduct your own research. In addition to saving you time and money, doing your due diligence to ensure candidates are the real deal could prevent your company from being vulnerable to a security breach.

Here are four steps you can take to identify a fraudulent candidate:

Meet them.

Make sure that if you’re not meeting your candidate in person you at least go through a proper introduction over Zoom. It can feel small, but confirming their face matches the photo on their ID is important. Face-to-face contact also allows you to observe their responses to questions you may have about their skills or experience. During a video interview, keep your radar up for suspicious behavior – for example, if the candidate repeatedly looks off screen, as if to look at a cheat sheet. Many times, fraudulent candidates will chat or listen to proxy interviews while they’re speaking to hiring managers. If you think that may be the case, start looking for other signs.

Search their address.

Address matching is just as important as face matching. Before you ship any equipment to your candidate, do a quick Web search of their address. This is especially important if you’re speaking to international professionals working in the United States, as fraud has been found among H-1B or OPT candidates. In those cases, make sure to obtain copies of their passport and Visa early on.

Be wary of perfect candidates.

If it’s too good to be true, it may be. Many times, fraudulent candidates have an overabundance of top skills or a laundry list of highly reputable firms or clients on their resume. Make sure you verify references from at least three employers before you move forward in the hiring process. Whether they are a skilled professional or an executive, they should be verifiable on LinkedIn. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of email-only references; people should be willing to talk with you about your candidate.

Plug into your network.

Believe it or not, a lot of tech industry hiring managers and executives come in contact with the same fraudulent candidates. Stay in contact with your peers in the industry, tell them to steer clear of applicants that you’ve had a bad experience with. Chances are, they will return the favor.

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