Fake numbers for a reference

Has anyone ever been given a fake number for a reference? When calling an employer, I tend not to call the number given, but look up the organization and go through that route. It may sound a little paranoid, but how easy would it be to simply give over a friend's number and have them answer it as if they were the employer?

That's a good idea. I've also ...

That's a good idea. I've also heard that you should ask for specific dates and rent prices from the previous landlords. If it's just a friend that they've given you the number for it will probably throw them off.

I had this happen once. It was...

I had this happen once. It was really weird and thankfully the credit came back so that I could use that to deny them.

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