Graduates are being warned not to lie on their CVs or job applications, otherwise they could face up to ten years in prison.

UK fraud prevention service, CIFAS claims that more and more students are being found guilty of employment-related fraud. Between 2012 and 2013, prosecutions for employment fraud rose by 60 per cent. Some 324 Brits were found guilty of a variety of offences last year, including holding back important information and submitting false paperwork. In 2012, only 205 people were charged for similar crimes, reports

To reduce the number of employment fraud cases, CIFAS has sent new advice to every university in the UK. The guide warns students of the consequences of lying about their employment history or making up references. It also contains real-life stories about people who have been caught making false claims, including one girl who went to jail for six months, even though she claimed she did not know she was breaking the law.

Simon Dukes, chief executive of CIFAS, says that not knowing the law is not an excuse, telling “We understand that it is a tough job market and that even the most honest graduate may feel a lot of pressure to make his or her CV stand out from the crowd, but it’s better to be straightforward and keep your integrity.”

He added: “Applicants who submit false or exaggerated information run the risk of dismissal, a criminal record and even imprisonment, as real-life examples featured in the publication show.”