Monday, August 26, 2013

Background Checks; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Background checks are something that we at JB National Investigations take very seriously.  There are probably thousands of companies who claim they can complete this vital task for you but, what we have found is a lot of these companies are simply not performing as they should.

I'm sure if you are reading this you have seen searches like Intelius, and the like.  Can you have a "background" completed for $4.95?   Absolutely.  Is this a background check that you want to risk your business or assets to?  NO!

What those types of searches are is name matching and/or other identifier matching search.  It will run your subject through a database but will only return what is publicly available.  What this means to you is their system or database has collected information from all of the known public sources into one place.  These types of reports are mass produced (usually by computer program with no human input) and totally unverified. This sounds like its really all you need right?  Not exactly, let me further explain.

Almost all private investigators in Arizona, and in the country for that matter, use one of two database providers.  So essentially they all have access to the same information when it comes to background checks.  What sets good firms from bad firms is what they do with that information.  If a firm is telling you they can turn around a background that same-day, or possibly next day, you are probably not getting a thorough background check.  What they are doing is simply taking the information you have supplied them and running your individual through a database.  Usually they won't even attempt to verify any information that the report contained or worst case will not understand how to properly read the criminal report provided.  As horrible as these types of backgrounds are they do have a place.  They do serve the purpose of identification, previous addresses, whether or not they have liens or judgments and give an investigator a good starting point for a proper background investigation.

Now that I've told you what a bad background check is let me explain what JB National Investigations can offer as well as any other firm that takes background investigations seriously.

As stated above all background investigations start with known facts, i.e. the initial database report.  Anything additional that you the client can provide will only enhance the investigation.  The first step in any background investigation is verifying what you already know or have in front of you.  For example if the initial report shows a criminal violation steps should be taken, by the firm you have chosen, to verify the crime including date of offense and disposition of that offense if any.  Are they on parole/probation, have they paid their fines, upcoming court dates if any etc.  Best case scenario is obviously is no criminal record.  One caveat to the above is there are times that city courts do not share their information to database services.  It may be necessary for your investigator to physically walk into the municipal court to ensure there aren't any past or current criminal charges.

Depending on your business or personal needs the above steps may be enough for you to make your decision.  However if you are risking any meaningful sum of money, assets or business ventures we highly recommend completing a comprehensive investigation.

I will talk about JB National Investigations Tier 1 Backgrounds and other steps that should be taken if the risk dictates the time and effort in another blog soon.

As always if you have any questions feel free to contact me anytime.

John Hopper
Director of Investigative Services
JB National Investigations

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