After an employee was found guilty of fraud after lying their way into a job, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) warned its 20,000 officials that false claims on their resumes could lead to prosecution.

“Recently, in one case, it was discovered that an ATO employee’s ‘qualifications’ and work history were false,” Mr. Chris Jordan, Commission of Taxation, wrote in his staff bulletin.

“When confronted, the employee resigned, and a brief of evidence was forwarded to the commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. The employee later pleaded guilty to charges of knowingly using a false document and dishonestly deceiving a public official, and was convicted and fined $1000 on each count.”

Jordan expressed to his workers that exaggeration on resumes would not be tolerated as white lies.

“Falsifying your qualifications or work history is deceitful, and chances are you will be caught out eventually, especially if you’re hired for skills and attributes that you simply don’t have,” he wrote. “Don’t let ambition blind you to the requirement that you act with honesty and integrity at all times.”

A recent survey showed that adding false details and embellishing qualifications and experience is becoming more common, as candidates are now facing increased competition for jobs. To combat such deceit, employers must begin guarding themselves and becoming better equipped to identify these tactics.

Employers who fail to have sufficient safeguards in place risk exposing their businesses to dishonest and under-qualified staff. The effects of that can be serious, especially in professions lie medicine and finance, where specific qualifications are a regulatory requirement of the positions. Furthermore, an employee’s poor performance or lack of basic skills could cause your customers to lose confidence in your organization and create a negative reputation for your company.

Fortunately, pre-employment background checks can easily solve these problems. An advanced background check can help you confirm that the applicant you are considering hiring has the skills and knowledge to perform the job. Your pre-employment screening company can verify their former employers and positions they held, as well as their educational background and professional certifications.

You work hard to make your business successful, and you don’t deserve having that ruined by someone who tries to get ahead through dishonesty. Consider starting to make pre-employment background checks a standard procedure in your hiring process, so you can rest easily knowing that whoever you hire truly has the qualifications you are seeking.