If you’re not doing everything possible to perform identity verification on all your employees, you are leaving yourself open for unimaginable financial, organizational, and even legal damage.

Consider, for one moment, that the average teenager in America probably knows someone who can get them a fake ID that could get them into a club. Now consider that there are people out there who make a living out of identity theft, and have considerably more resources at their disposal.

Even the most convincing looking documentation could easily be fake, and identity theft and fraud are far, far more pervasive in the U.S. than you probably realize. If you are taking any credentials or documents at face value, you might already be at risk.

The Figures Don’t Lie

Of the nearly two million complaints that the Federal Trade Commission received and investigated in 2014, approximately 14% were identity theft related. Of those, 6% were employment related. That works out to about 16,800 cases in that year alone. That’s a little over 46 cases, on average, every single day.

That’s just the cases that were discovered, reported, and investigated too. If the alarming trends in identity theft around the world are anything to go on, the true figure might well be considerably higher than that.

People are lying their way into jobs, and to keep them, and it’s happening all the time.

Why Do People Commit Employment Related Identity Fraud?

The reasons why people commit this type of fraud vary significantly from case to case. Sometimes, they’re simply trying to hide a checkered past. Sometimes, they’re deliberately hiding who they are, with the intent to cause chaos within your organization. In those cases, some of their reasons may be:

  • They are employees of your competitors, engaging in industrial espionage.
  • They have falsified education and other credentials, with the goal of being hired for jobs they are not qualified to hold.
  • Insinuating themselves in positions of financial authority, to siphon or embezzle funds.
  • They are hoping to gain access to your network, to copy or share customer’s digital records from inside your company.

When employees do deliberately engage in identity theft during the hiring process, it’s often with the intention of achieving their goals, and then simply disappearing.

The more sophisticated the fraud and the higher the position, the more damage and cost there is likely to be, and it’s significantly harder for the authorities to catch someone if they have no idea who they are chasing.

Protecting Yourself from Employment Related Identity Fraud

These scenarios may sound far-fetched. Like something out of a Hollywood movie, that could never happen to you.

But they can, and in many well-documented cases, they have. Those are just the cases that have made main stream media, too. There are plenty more tied up in court, or in the hands of the authorities, never to be solved.

The simple fact is that had the employers in all these cases (reported and not), conducted a thorough identity verification process before hiring the individuals in question, they could have avoided many of these situations. You can too, and you should.

If the position in question is high powered, and the credentials are complex and hard to confirm yourself, then hiring a company that specializes in professional due diligence services can cut through the Gordian knot of information for you. It may delay the hiring process slightly, or cost a little more than your in-house checks, but it could save you time, money, and even legal trouble later.

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