Five Ways to Minimise Fraudulent References

07 Sep 2021 by Neil Rose

With a growing list of reasons behind why a candidate might be inclined to submit a fake reference, it’s more important than ever to know how to minimise it. While there is an element of recruiter’s intuition in spotting a fraudulent reference, this doesn’t suffice in today’s digital world.

Five Ways to Minimise Fraudulent References

Our reporting at Referoo shows that an encouraging 98% of candidates are doing the right thing. What can be done about the rest though? The great news is that there are ways to help you avoid making a costly mistake from a fake reference and simplify your workload in the process.

#1 Set expectations early

At least 50% of the references we collect at Referoo are submitted outside standard business hours. There is no doubt about it – referees are busy people. Sometimes this implied ‘busyness’ can create hesitancy in a candidate, not wanting to bother or use up their referee’s time. Take some time early in the recruitment process to address this.


Set clear expectations and remind them upfront that should they be successful, you will be looking to collect some references from them. This reminder can encourage the candidate to have the necessary conversations with their referees and properly prepare.


#2 Do your research

If there is any doubt about the legitimacy of a reference, it can’t hurt to do a quick search on the referee. Social media can be a great tool for this. For example, by looking up a referee on LinkedIn, you can easily check if their professional profile matches the information you have been given.


Sounds simple enough, right? But as a recruiter, you have many more pressing things to spend your time on. That’s why we’ve included this functionality within the Referoo platform. By asking a referee to connect their LinkedIn profile to the reference, it immediately eliminates a manual step of the process, providing reassurance and extra layer of security.


#3 Use online reference checking

Using an online reference checking system, like Referoo, can help minimise the number of fake references you’re receiving. Secure and accurate reference checks are extremely important to us at Referoo. That’s why alongside connecting referee’s LinkedIn profiles, we also have several additional checks in place to give you the confidence that references are genuine.


Every reference processed by Referoo goes through a fraud detection system, identifying and notifying you when a reference may be fraudulent. You also have the option to add on a background ID check, securely processed through Australia Post’s Digital ID™. This confirms that the details of the referee match their official identification documents.


#4 Follow up with a call

If you continue to have doubts about a particular reference that has been collected online, you have the option to confirm details over the phone. Referoo processes both online and phone references. So, with all the details collected online open on the screen in front of you, you can enter a follow up conversation equipped with the relevant information. Ask the referee to elaborate on some of the answers they’ve written. Pay attention to their tone. Do their verbal responses match what you’ve received online?


#5 Request another referee

By this stage, if you’re still unsure about the legitimacy of a reference, there is one final step you can try. Ask for another referee from the same organisation. If the additional reference lines up with what you’ve already received, this can help confirm both the referee and reference as accurate. You could also call the organisation’s reception line directly and ask to speak with the referee that way.


Ultimately, no matter how great a candidate appears, your reputation as a recruiter hinges on making sure it’s the right hire for your client. That’s why we’ve created a system to help reduce fraud risk for you. By including extra checks automatically within Referoo you’re able to process references quickly, cost-effectively, and with an added layer of confidence.


Start using Referoo today with a free, full-service 14-day trial, or get in touch to discuss your specific needs!