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How to Do a Background Check on Someone

Tulika Nair Aug 17, 2020
Has your gut feeling ever forced you to distrust someone at sight without any proof? Do you feel obliged to give them the benefit of doubt? The solution to all your doubts is learning how to run a background check.
Remember the movie Pink Panther 2? Do you recall how long it took Inspector Jacques Clouseau to figure out that the thief in the case was the Spanish author, Sonia Solandres, who was helping him with the investigation? Well, if Inspector Clouseau had done a simple background check on his fellow investigator, he would have solved the case in a jiffy.
But then that was a movie, and sooner or later goodness triumphs on the silver screen. Life in reality is not all that fair. So if you want to save yourself a whole lot of misery it would be a good idea to learn how to do a background check before trusting an unknown prospective employee.
A background check is a process of collecting information, like criminal records, driving records, and previous employment details about a person. In today's information age, it is extremely easy to check up on someone. Most companies insist on pre-employment screening and employee background checks of applicants.
Background checks allow an employer to check whether or not a person applying for a job is suitable for the company, and whether or not he has made any fraudulent claims in order to get the job. One can also check a prospective employee's employment history.
Though most background checks are conducted by employers on people they wish to hire, like parents doing background checks on nannies and babysitters, it is not uncommon to hear about parents conducting background checks on people dating their children.
If you are a regular visitor to Internet chatting rooms and make many online friends, then it would be a good idea to do a background check on the person before you take your friendship with the person further. You can do so even with the little information that you may possess about the person. There are many online databases that can be used for the same.
Background checks are also done by the government when hiring, in order to ensure that there is no security risk in employing the concerned individuals. A criminal background check is done where court cases are concerned.
Such background checks for criminal records are generally authorized by lawyers to help them with their case. It is also advisable to do a background check before hiring a financial advisor so that you do not become a victim of any sort of fraud.
Background checks have become extremely important in today's world. Most employers insist on background checks due to the increasing number of false claims made, where qualifications are concerned. It is also essential to know that the person has not been previously involved in any kind of white collar crime.
In the U.S., there are laws that make it mandatory to do backgrounds check on people who wants to purchase a gun. There are also laws in place to do checks on people who are hired to work with the elderly, children, or the disabled.

Conducting a Background Check

It is essential to understand what options are available to you to do so. The most preliminary way of conducting a background check is to perform a quick search on your preferred search engine. Type the name of the person you want to do a search on, inside quotation marks, in the search bar.
Though this is the easiest way to perform a search, it can also be an extremely faulty one because there could be several people with the same name and you could get details for people you do not really know. You could also opt to do your check through the court systems where you need the date of birth of the person to get exact results.
Alternately, you can sign up with an online background check company like Net Detective, Background Checks, U.S. Search, Intelius, Crimcheck or Veromi. These companies allow you to do a background check by accessing their database. These websites allow limited or unlimited access for a specific sum of money.
These websites need some basic information to do background checks, like name, date of birth, social security number, etc. It is also possible to do criminal background checks on someone through these websites but this may cost you extra. Background checks for criminal records generally need to be done through the court system.
Following are a few instructions that will guide you through the process of conducting a background check.
  • Fill up the individual background check application form.
  • Ensure that you include all the important details like full name, date of birth, social security number, address, etc.
  • Try to get permission from the individual you are doing the background check on.
  • Try to determine the kind of search that you want the company or court to perform. This will depend on the kind of information you need about the individual.
  • Submit the fee. Ensure that you have a receipt or evidence of the fact that you have paid a fee for the information you are seeking.
  • Decide how you want to receive the information. The company or the government will then send you the information either by email or by post. This may also depend on the volume of the data being sent.

Things to keep in Mind While Conducting a Background Check

The information that you get may range from their criminal records to their credit reports, driving records, marital information, etc. A background check reveals a lot of information about the person you are checking up on and therefore, it is important that you refrain from misusing the information that you have been given.
Also limit the information you are seeking to what you need. Do not unnecessarily seek personal information for employee background checks. There are websites available that provide free criminal background checks. Ensure that you double check such information.
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you need to always ensure that you obtain the written permission of the person you are about to do a background check on. It is up to the person asking for the report to understand and use accordingly what shows up in a background check.
Playing Sherlock Holmes and living a childhood fantasy can always backfire, if you are at the end facing the artillery. While it is interesting to understand the process of conducting a background check, it is important to realize the perils of this easy detection method.