Mistakes, exaggerations and downright lies on CVs are becoming an increasing worry for employers, according to firms which make a living from discovering the truth.
Examples include a chauffeur who got a job ferrying an MD around - even though the courts had banned him from driving.
Then there was applicant for a high-powered business role who failed to mention he held eight directorships - and had swindled #800,000 from one of his firms.
And non-existent degrees are a common issue, according to background checking consultants RWC Plc.
"We had a case just a fortnight ago," said spokesman Doug Beavis. "We phoned the university about one of their so-called graduates, and they said they had never heard of him.
"But they knew his twin brother, who was a student there. The applicant had taken his brother's courses and used them as inspiration to improve his CV."
In America, 80 per cent of firms use CV verification services to ensure potential recruits are telling the truth.
In Britain, only 20 per cent do the same - but this is changing, according to Mr Beavis.
"When I joined this company last June, we employed eight people. Now it is 35.
"Employers spend millions of pounds on securing their premises, installing alarms and protecting their computer systems.
"But then they hand over the keys to the office and the password to the IT network to people they know almost nothing about. Increasingly, they are realising they need to check CVs."
But not everyone in the business community takes CV accuracy quite so seriously.
John Lamb, of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said: "I don't think personally that it should matter one jot in some respects.
"No employer wants to think they have been fooled. But the most important thing has got to be that the person can do the job."
Andrew Sparrow, deputy chairman of Birmingham Forward, which represents the professional sector, said: "There is a great deal of trust and faith involved. People will rarely ask for proof that you studied there."
And procedures in the NHS, although in line with the private sector, are fairly basic.
Justin Woolley, of Shropshire and Staffordshire Strategic Health Authority, said: "On your first day within the NHS, you have to bring material related to every relevant qualification with you.
"That means all the certificates. It may not go back as far as every O level, but it will include everything that matters for the position you are doing."
Even checking that a qualification really exists may not be enough to ensure it means anything. Bodies can call themselves universities and offer degrees without having any official status.
Examples include Birmingham International College, a branch of Halifax University, which was recently criticised by MP Gisela Stuart (Lab Edgbaston) for offering degrees "not worth the paper they are printed on".
It has 250 students paying up to #5,500 each, but is not accredited by the Department for Education.
Belford University in the USA promises students degrees in subjects from accounting to veterinary medicine, with "no studies, no admissions, no attendance" required. You simply send $249 and wait seven days for the certificates to arrive.
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