One of my friends asked me to be his reference for a job he applied. He told me that he's put my details as a reference and that I should be expecting a call from the company he applied for.

Due to the false information he told me to state, I have not answered any phone calls from the recruiter. Do not want to be involved in providing falsifying wrong information as it would be an act of fraud and against the law'.

He then informs me that he has used my identity 'Pretending to be me' by changing my phone number and his friend pretended to be me and gave a reference to the recruiter as if it was me.

What shall I do? what is the outcome?

I do not want to be blamed for not speaking or the person to think that his done it this time and got away with it, which enable him to do it over and over again.

I would appreciate someone's help, as its really bothering me that someone has pretended to be me without my permission to provide '100%' wrong information and reference to get the job.

  • 34
    This person is not your friend. Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 19:42
  • 1
    Just to be sure, your "friend" asked other person to pretend to be you after you decided to ignore calls from a recruiter, or he intended to do that from the very beginning? (Also, telling you he used someone else to fake your identity it's not the best move he could've made, TBH) Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 20:45
  • 1
    This kind of thing probably falls under identity theft. You might be able to file a report with the police, even though probably nothing comes of it. At least if this ever comes back to bite you, you'll have an easy way to show that you weren't involved with this.
    – Erik
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 21:26
  • 2
    Just to be Devil's Advocate here, but you really should have told your friend that you were not comfortable with the situation. Why would you still agree to be his/her reference, even when you yourself said that you would not answer the phone calls? All you had to do was tell your friend no, and you wouldn't have this problem.
    – Prodnegel
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 23:00
  • He told me that he has put me as a reference when he first applied for the job at the court, which I have agreed to. Two days later he texted me to tell me that they will call me tomorrow for the reference, and that I need to tell them 1, 2, 3 'faults information that he told them' when they ask me about him. After he did, I didn't give any confirmation or agreement to do so. I ignored the calls from the recruiter instead. Today he texted me saying because I didn't answer the recruiter, he asked other person to pretend that he's 'me' and give out whatever information in my name, address, etc.
    – Mike
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 0:40

2 Answers 2


I would suggest you do nothing. You can decide how you want the friendship to move forward, but as far as professionally, do not do anything. A person who requires a reference to be 100% fabricated will be found out pretty soon anyway due to most likely not having any of the skills/abilities discussed in the reference. This person could have done this before (or do it again in the future) without telling you and you would not have been (will not be) the wiser.

If this person goes down in flames, no one is going to contact you about what you said in the reference. Now, if this is a company that you want to work for in the future or you do business with in some manner, you may want to reconsider saying something.

  • There's an old saying here: "lies have short feet". Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 20:53
  • @Trickylastname Sehr gut
    – Prodnegel
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 22:51
  • @Trickylastname that saying is a lie, and the fact that people are stillrepeating it a proof of it being a lie :-p. Logic 101
    – SJuan76
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 0:26
  • @dfundako While what you say seems right. What if this company/recruiter might be a potential company/recruiter for the OP? It might harm his name and reputation if "he" provided wrong information. Worse case they think you are a liar, best case they think you are incompetent.
    – Jeroen
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 15:18
  • @Jeroen The second paragraph addresses that. It really doesn't matter. Someone you worked with in the past could be using your name right now for a reference and saying you were the manager, but providing the phone number of a friend who isn't you. You would never know until you submit an application to a company they ran the scam on and potentially got confronted about the supposed 'referral' you gave.
    – dfundako
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 15:29

Your course of action really depends on what you view as the problem.

If the problem is that this "friend" is getting a job under false pretenses then you should probably contact the recruiter and advise that you have been told that you were to be contacted for a reference but have not heard from them. This gives you the opportunity to present the correct information and will very likely cost your "friend" this opportunity.

If the problem is that you don't want it coming back on you that you recommended someone that was not qualified, I'd really assess the likelihood that this would negatively reflect on you in any way. Likely only the hiring manager and HR would know that "you" recommended this person and unless you share a niche field or a remote geographical area with them your circles are unlikely to ever overlap and even if they did the likelihood that they even remember who you are is also low.

  • Dear Myles, Thank you for answering my question. I have not recommended my 'Friend', as after he applied for the job he asked me to be his reference which I agreed on. After few days he told me to state faults information to the recruiter in order to get the job. Therefore I didn't answer the recruiter's phone calls because I didn't want to provide information which is not true 'Information that he asked me to say. I'm just concerned how the recruiter 'Court' has accepted reference which pretends to be me without checking their identity, and 'friend' to do the same. Thanks again!
    – Mike
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 20:19
  • @Mike I don't understand your concern. Can you elaborate on what negative consequence you are worried about if the recruiter 'court' accepts a reference from someone pretending to be you?
    – Myles
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 21:20

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