Providing a bogus job reference in the form of a friend or relative is nothing new, but I had no idea the concept has become so organized and commodified.
From the link:
But a niche business has cropped up that takes that a step further. Web sites that offer fake job reference services are available for any job seeker whose credentials and references don’t stand on their own. That’s bad news for hiring managers, according to Jeff Wizceb, a vice president with HR Plus, a division of AlliedBarton Security Services that provides background screening services.
“You basically sign up and create your own company that you want to have worked at or create a position at a legitimate company,” said Wizceb. “You plug in references, position, salary, all that information, and if an employer were to call the number you provided, these sites will pose as a reference and it would be basically this fake company that would ‘verify’ the information.”