Aaron Sankin at The Daily Dot:
I spent three years as a staff accountant at Thomas, Pickford and Thomas, an equity research firm with a specialty in oil and gas. It’s a small team of investment analysts, accountants, and attorneys with an office in Austin’s trendy South Congress neighborhood. The family-owned firm was founded by brothers Gary and Michael Thomas 1998, who boast decades of Wall Street experience. The firm’s philosophy, as listed on its website, “based on the premise that companies that generate a high return on equity on a consistent basis generally achieve an above average share price appreciation over time.” Jack Ford, my supervisor there, will have no problem verifying any of that for you.Amazing what you can buy these days.
There’s just one slight problem: I know virtually nothing about accounting. I’m not a CPA. I’ve never actually worked at Thomas, Pickford and Thomas. In fact, Thomas, Pickford and Thomas doesn’t even exist. Everything about the firm, from its website to Mr. Ford, is part of a phony career services package I purchased on the Internet—for a mere $150. And it’s shockingly effective. For a small fee, CareerExcuse.com promises to not only craft an elaborate lie based on your exact job specifications but to see it through for as long as necessary. The site will provide a live HR operator and staged supervisor, along with building and hosting a virtual company website—complete with a local phone number and toll-free fax. CareerExcuse will even go so far as to make the fake business show up on Google Maps. . . .
There are some lines CareerExcuse won’t cross. The service won't impersonate an already existing company and refuses to recommendations for fields where someone’s life could be at stake, as with firefighters, private military contracting, and doctors, for example. And the company won’t you secure a loan you otherwise couldn’t get. But after that, it’s all negotiable.