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How Accurate are Background Checks?

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How Accurate are Background Checks?

A woman in Phoenix Arizona lost the opportunity of employment due to a background check and the accuracy of the information provided by a third-party background screening company.

During the course of the investigation the woman's identity was confused with another woman's. At some point information became confused. Often timeís identities can get mistaken when the same last and first name exist on a file. However, in this case, the two women shared only the same first name.

In the end the woman that lost the job was left scrambling to remove another person's felony from her record..."

The article in Arizona Republic (November 20, 2012) immediately begs the question:

How accurate are background checks?

It depends.

Background screening relies on accuracy of information and this information is generally drawn from two sources: Databases and county courthouse researchers.

Databases are only as good as the information input into their systems. Information provided in a database can only be relied upon when the information is verifiably up-to-date, accurate, and simply confirmed. Of course anytime information is provided by humanís errors can and will exist. Names are misspelled, birth dates entered wrong; a thousand things can happen when data is entered into a computer.

When conducting a background check there are three pieces of vital information that must be checked and cross-checked to all information pertaining to an individual:

1. Full Name

2. Social Security Number (*Most Criminal Records do not have an SSN on them)

3. Date of Birth

It is the responsibility of a third-party background screening company to verify full name, (First, middle, last) SSN and birth dates as made available on the actual criminal record. A majority of the reports drawn for pre-employment background screening are based on these three pieces of information. Invalidity of information, in any form, will wreck havoc on the background screening process. Further, should discrepancies appear it is also the responsibility of a third-party background screening company to inform any employer or organization as well as provide the opportunity to correct any databases that provide erroneous information. A consumer has 30 days to demand corrections to their information upon notification.

Businesses and organizations need to rely on the information provided by a third-party background screening company as accurate and correct, and finding the right third-party background screening provider is crucial.

Third-party background screening companies must conform to the rules that govern the industry as outlined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and governed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (effective January 1, 2013).

Third-party background screening companies should be able to provide the following:

1. The ability to update, modify, and/or correct the databases they utilize

2. Provide information gathered from more than a single reliable source

3. Gather information at the County Courthouse level

4. Provide the ability to gather references and/or verifications, specifically employment and education has been providing reliable background screening information to companies large and small. Accuracy is a core belief at They provide information from researchers as well as reliable, fully vetted database sources. Further, they have the ability to assist candidates in correcting incorrect or erroneous information from their files.

This has been a News Publication - All rights reserved is “An Information Enterprises Solution”

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