News release

Anna White / Victoria Collinson
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7802 2626
Email: annaw/

63 per cent of social networkers vulnerable to career cloning

Nottingham, UK, 3 March 2009 Experian®, the global information services company, today warned employers to beware of organised criminals using cloned career histories to secure employment in order to commit insider fraud.

Research into fraud cases heard by UK courts in 2008 confirms that insider fraud continues to be a growing threat. Across corporate, financial services and public sector organisations, employees accounted for £228 million worth of fraud cases in 2008, up from £81 million in 2007*.

A survey of 100 professionals that use social networking sites conducted on behalf of Experian Background Checking, the company’s specialist candidate and employee vetting service, found that 63 per cent of respondents included career details in their personal profiles. One in ten admitted to posting their entire CV online while over half had revealed details about their education, which could be of use to fraudsters.

According to Hitwise, an Experian company, UK Internet visits to social networks increased by 17.4 per cent in 2008, and now account for one in 10 UK Internet visits. In December 2008, social networks received 23 times as many UK Internet visits as job sites.

With so much personal and career related information available online, experts at Experian Background Checking are advising organisations to thoroughly vet all new employees to confirm that candidates are who they say they are.

Avis Easteal, General Manager, Experian Background Checking, commented: “Social networks are a great tool for those looking to put their credentials in the shop window. However, with so much information in the public domain employers must be alert to the risks they could be exposed to.

“Improvements in anti-fraud measures have pushed organised criminals to look at new options and approaches. This means that there is the possibility that fraudsters will increasingly look to take on the identities and career histories of third parties to secure employment within companies for the purposes of committing fraud.

“Today, no one can accept a CV on face value. A comprehensive background check enables an organisation to be confident that employment candidates are who they say they are, and not a fraudster misusing an identity in an attempt to perpetrate insider fraud.

“Companies need to be incredibly careful about those they employ in positions of trust and have robust anti-fraud policies and protection measures in place to cover every eventuality.”

* Source: KPMG, 4 February 2008.