Unemployment leading to fraud

According to Ina Van der Mervwe CEO of Managed Integrity Evaluation (MIE) Southern Africa s background screening and vetting company.


04 September 2014


Over the past few weeks there has been a significant increase in the uncovering of fraudulent behaviour regarding qualifications and CV contents.

The issue is continuing to grow and has become a concern especially due to the nature of the positions held by those who have been exposed.

Managed Integrity Evaluation believes that fraudulent qualifications are fast becoming a prevalent issue across government, state owned and private organisations.

"With the current job market and job scarcity, out of desperation, people will do anything to get a job including being dishonest about their qualifications. The trend of purchasing qualifications is also increasing and becoming more frequently used on CV`s. This really is a symbolic deal with the devil, and with unemployment being a great cause for concern in South Africa, fraud continues to increase," she said.

She added that even though the buying and selling of fraudulent qualifications is a criminal offence, the demand for fake certifications is still on the rise for both secondary and tertiary qualifications.

"Although we have seen a slight decrease in fraudulent qualifications in 2013, with an average of 26% of all qualifications verified by MIE carrying risk, the percentage still remains high. The fact that unemployment is reaching an all-time high only means that this kind of fraud can turn back to an upward spiral," said van der Merwe.

She believes that accountability from an employer perspective needs to take centre stage in the fight against fraud.

She added that the notion of due diligence is too often overlooked. Van der Mervwe said that it is the responsibility of all employers, from the smallest businesses to the highest reaches of government, to thoroughly examine all their employees before the damage is escalated exponentially.

"People think background screening is time and cost intensive, but the cost is minimal and it takes only a few days to receive results. Not to mention it will without a doubt outweigh the threat to an organisation that comes from not vetting employees," she said.

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