Why you shouldn’t lie about your qualifications or work experience


The South African Fraud Prevention Services (SAFPS) says that it had a significant number of fraud cases relating to false qualifications listed on its database in 2015.

Many young South Africans looking for employment do not think it is a serious offence to lie just a little on their job application about their qualifications, experience or criminal record.

Young graduates often do not realise the dire implications, said Manie van Schalkwyk, Executive Director of the SAFPS.

“A minor adjustment of a B to an A symbol, or some experience that the job applicant never gained, does not seem that serious to an applicant. They think that everybody does it and that they can get away with it,” he said.


However, he pointed out that even a ‘small lie’ is very serious as it is still fraud. If employers receive a job application that they discover to be fraudulent then they are able to record details of the applicant on the SAFPS Secure Internal Fraud Database.

This database is available to all other employers and organisations that are SAFPS members.

If an applicant gets caught making a fraudulent job application – his/her details are on the system for three years. During this time, any job application you make could be searched against the database and potential employers will know that you lied on previous job applications.

Van Schalkwyk noted that increased media attention around employment fraud means that pre-employment checks are high on employers’ agendas.

Newly graduated job seekers are urged to take this seriously as applicants provide their personal details, so employers can easily check background information, qualifications, dates of attendance and grades received, pending court cases or existing convictions.

“Your case might just hit the media and it will become public knowledge, meaning that each time someone does a Google search on you, this is revealed” van Schalkwyk said.


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