Time and again, investigations reveal that hundreds of credentials - whether it's from security guards or instructors are fake. The highly publicized 2020 arrests of Christopher Jean-Pierre, Antiliqwa Fisher, and Tequila Porter on suspicions of fraudulent security guard certifications and licenses come to mind.
Schools and institutions place incredible trust in security guards and expect them to be properly trained and licensed to carry out their jobs. Fake security guards without the skills and training not only put themselves at risk, but also harm the very people they have been hired to protect.
The security of people and property is at stake and those who are flagrantly violating the sanctity of public safety should be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
Unfortunately, some odd cases of fraudulent credentials will slip through the cracks in the system. It is important for everyone's safety to be on the lookout for shady online services and scams that try skirting the authentication process.
At times it can be easy to spot fake credentials of a security guard or instructor. However, there are times when it can be hard to spot the difference. In all cases, there are ways of spotting a fake - starting with a quick background check, those are always nearly impossible to get around.
Conduct a Thorough Interview
A cover letter and resume are not enough to prove the credentials of a security guard. It is important for you or your staff to interview them personally.
Before attending the interview, make sure to familiarize yourself with the job description to see what a security guard does, what credentials they should have, their training background, and how they should respond to different security incidents.
With enough experience, you should be able to spot a fake guard. Most of them are unable to formulate a cohesive response to questions. Don't worry if the interview takes a while to complete. You are, after all, trusting this individual to protect your employees and business.
Doing a Background Check of Instructors and Security Guards
Whether you've hired a security guard or already one on your team, it's important to run their credentials via a background check. Do not rely on the badge or resume to determine if the security guard is faking their license. It's worth noting that fake badges are relatively easy to produce (and even steal legitimate ones) and have been deployed for various scams.
A background check will also reveal a fake security guard's criminal background, if any. In any case, the burden of carrying out a background check always falls on the institution, college, or organization. Doing so will minimize their liability and the risk of getting sued for negligent hiring.
Background checks are also important because they reveal important information about a person. You cannot, and should not, trust a person if you don't know them because their intentions are never clear. For example, a Wal-Mart fake guard was caught attempting to lure females and children into his vehicle.
Note that ordering a background check will require written authorization. Once you have received the approval, you can run the background check. Always double-check the spelling of the guard's name and the city and state of residence. If the background check doesn't show any employment histories they have listed, there is a good chance they are faking it.
Test Their Skills
Professionals with real credentials should have no difficulty passing basic tests for you. For example, a trusted employee can test their skills using security cameras to monitor their interaction with employees and visitors. Test their ability to use surveillance equipment and radios. Ask them how they can handle different situations, especially those that are common to your business, whether it's a college or a mall, or any other place of business.
If someone on your team isn't aware of the basic job duties of a security guard, you can ask someone with experience from outside to view your security guard and see if their performance is up to par. If there are any major problems related to performance, then the person may not be who they say they are. It is always good practice to check on your security guards to make sure they comply with company policies.
Check Proof of their Qualifications
It goes without saying but you should check to see proof of their qualifications. A fraudster will try to dodge this question with vague responses and hope you don't prod them with any furtherinquiries. Moreover, fake security guards will struggle to produce valid documentation. This is an easy method of testing their skills.
If the guard produces qualifications, the next step is to verify ifthe issuing institution itself is fully recognized. With so many applicants coming from various countries around the world, you may encounter certificates from unrecognized institutions - but they're not all fraudulent. Legitimate institutions always have international affiliations that you will be familiar with.
Next, you should check to see if the certificate itself is genuine. If you have received a large number of applications, you are probably sitting over a huge pile of certificates. Use one of them as a reference to check incoming certificates.
Look for obvious things such as grammar errors (you would be surprised to know how common this is with fake degrees), proper placement of logos, and everything else. Check that the dates align correctly with the candidate's resume.
You can step things up by checking to see signatures on the certificate for the named person.
Lastly, the print quality of the certificate is an obvious giveaway as to whether it is fraudulent or genuine. It is also recommended to obtain transcripts that will give you further information to check against. Things such as marks, award titles, course durations, and similar factors should be compared against the norms in your area.
Note that if you are unable to obtain a transcript from the candidate, you can also request one directly from the issuing institution.
For further information about their education, you can contact the institutions' administrative offices; most administrativeclerks can confirm certificate details, graduation dates, and enrollment, if needed.
Check for Consistencies in University Address
Fake universities often provide rather sketchy contact information, such as postal addresses that are suspect at best. All one needs to do is run the address of the issuing institution on Google Maps to verify its location. Legitimate places of learning always have a large campus presence that is prominently visible on StreetView.
It isn't uncommon for fake universities to be serviced in parking lots, traffic roundabouts, and offices. Inconsistencies in the address are an obvious giveaway that the institution isn't real.
The US has a large and diverse education sector, and even within the US, recruiters aren't necessarily well-versed about different institutions.
Name changes, rebranding, and mergers have been commonplace throughout the years.
It's also worth noting that many fake universities provide their own fraudulent verification processes. In most cases, you should check if they are affiliated with credible groups. Furthermore, it is a good idea to have general knowledge of educations systems of applications from various countries.
Use a Search Engine to Confirm Details Online
The easiest way to confirm information is through a quick Google search. Look up business names, email addresses, business addresses, and dates of operation. make sure to tally the number of years mentioned on the resume. For example, if a guard has mentioned that they've been working at a company for 10 years, but the company has been operational for only 8 years, they've not been honest on their resume.
Ask them to provide an explanation - this could be a minor clerical issue.
Check Their LinkedIn Profile
This step can be tricky to perform but should point you in the right direction. When evaluating a guard's application, carefully examine their mutual relations. They should be connected to people with similar credentials. If the person has worked as a guard their whole life yet has no connections with coworkers or anyone in the industry, it should be concerning.
Take a look at their activity on LinkedIn. See what content they are sharing. Are they positive and inspirational posts? Perhaps they enjoy commenting on the latest industry news. Look for guards who keep their social media pages professional, influential, and positive. You want a forward-thinking person protecting your organization, not someone who has a negative outlook on life.
Hire Guards Through a Reliable Security Guard Agency
It is recommended to hire security guards through reputableservices. You could do the vetting yourself but you will always have concerns about fake applicants slipping through your tests. You won't have to worry about fake security guards again if you hire them via a reliable security guard agency.
Most security guard services only hire trained and qualified candidates. All the vetting is done for you. Furthermore, these groups can easily spot fakes and advise you on how to proceed.
Whether you hire teachers, guards, and other employees through internal recruitment processes or rely on an external recruitment agency, it is important to inculcate the habit of doing background checks and asking for qualifications such as credentials and licenses.