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What Are Background Checks And Who Perform Them?

Jun 6, 2008
You probably have heard about background checks or background investigations, but do we truly understand the process and its importance?

Wikipedia defines a background check as "the process of looking up official and commercial records about a person". This is sometimes called as background investigation and it is the standard operating procedure of credit card companies and other financial institutions. It involves searching for the history of an individual or a person's character.

In the past, background checks were done by the police; nowadays however, it can be purchased as a service from businesses. Information contained by reports usually include past employments, credit worthiness, and even criminal history. People say that background checks pose risks such as illegal discrimination, identity theft and violation of privacy, which are all valid reasons.

The government, however, has prevented improper use of information by mandating that only companies with due cause can purchase such information from companies.

Companies, which top the list for conducting background investigations, are companies, which grant loans. We need to understand, however, that background checks aren't only performed on borrowers. When we apply to companies that have high risk and to jobs that are in the positions of trust such as hospitals, banks, airports and even in law enforcement, before we are hired, the human resource department of that company might require us to pass several criteria when they do a background check.

Of course, if you are applying for a job in a bank and your history shows you committing a crime involving money, then you will probably get disqualified for the job. We can also be disqualified for an educational grant or scholarship due to inconsistencies that can be found on our background. Background checks are also a way to ensure that the information contained on our resumes is true.

There are some cases that landlords do background checks on their tenants (or potential tenants in other cases) to avoid problems with payment or unruly tenants. This might sound weird but there are people who ask for background checks for people they are dating! Well, for most people, you can never be too careful.

It is true that several negative information can be dug up which could destroy your chances of getting that dream job, the loan you so need, or even that wonderful view at the apartment you are trying to rent. Background checks aren't only done by companies, but can also be performed by individuals.

Today, online background checks are also becoming popular particularly because it is much cheaper than hiring a private detective. Some companies do a quick search using search engines but these usually return very few results and there is no guarantee for the accuracy of information. There are, of course, professional companies which use better systems of gathering information.

With these companies, you will hardly have face-to-face communication so you can keep you get to keep your identity and there is no need to purchase additional equipment. Perhaps the biggest advantage with online background checks, you can get reports at a maximum of 3 days.
About the Author
DO A BACKGROUND CHECK! In our society today, you can never be too careful. Do a background check and make sure that person is not a fraud, or worse. Protect yourself by going to www.AssetSearchPros.com
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