With Background Checks, It’s All About “Where” to Look

Background checks, whether for employee screening, litigation, investigation or security objectives are often misconstrued to be local to one specific jurisdiction. The scenario often goes something like this: a background check needs to be conducted and the subject currently resides in New York City, so the background is done in New York. This may seem logical, but is likely far too limited.

The truth is, people move around more than at any other time in history, meaning, records pertaining to the average person likely exist beyond where they currently live.

Jurisdiction is everything in background checks

Even when one has not officially registered his/her address somewhere else, many, particularly younger people, “stay” places, some times for many months or even years. These folks have a formal, recognized address, likely at a relatives house, but they don’t live there. In reality, they have created records or their activities where they are staying, but only an abackground checksastute, trained investigator will find those unofficial locations and search there. Those records can reside at the Federal, state, county and local levels. Also consider that many of us travel from county to county daily. In some cities like Memphis, Kansas City, Washington DC or Philadelphia, it is reasonable for a person to cross state lines multiple times each day. This means records can be in many separate locations and would be missed if the search is confined to one local or another. Instant, web based search robots (who make up the majority of this industry) will fail to find these every time.

In the case of employee screening, one can usually only look back 7 years. But for some people, they have lived in multiple states and multiple cities within those states during the course of those 7 years.

Learn more about our background check services. If you are interested in having the most complete, accurate background checks available today, we encourage you to contact our team. We will always take the time to answer your questions and explain specifically where we search and why.

Risk of Leaving Reputational Due Diligence to the Accountants

In an investment decision, the numbers need to work, they need to be accurate and they need to be complete. Validating the accounting and determining the proper valuation of assets and liabilities is essential, and for these tasks, the accountants and analysts are the right experts for the job.  Another aspect, often overlooked, but in some cases even more vital, is the reputational information surrounding companies and individuals known as “reputational due diligence”

This crucial information is discovered through a specific type of background check known as reputational due diligence.reputational due diligence

In many instances, the same accounting experts who work on financial due diligence are the ones being asked to also conduct the reputational due diligence. Unfortunately, there are very few financial analysts or accountants who understand and engage in conducting real reputational due diligence. Instead, they have learned about the commercially available databases that aggregate data on people and spit out 150 pages of raw data, most of which is useless, particularly to those untrained on how to analyze and use it as a starting point of a much more in-depth investigation. These bulk data reports in no way constitute a reputational due diligence investigation.  These same experts also know that the internet can be a great resource for information and they conduct some searches on the web to locate social media or references in news media.  Regrettably, experts in financial analytics and accounting are not experts in uncovering reputational data through both open and closed sources.  Internet profiling and social media investigations as one example have evolved beyond the capabilities of even the best of casual google users, with statistics showing that most of those who use Google are only searching a small percentage of available information on the internet, leaving much information still available to be mined by trained and skilled profilers.

Being that specialized experts such as accountants do not make the best open source researchers due to the complexity of this very small, specialized and unrelated field, a buyer of such services needs to look to an entirely different intelligence gathering industry; and even further so, need to identify those who professionally and expertly conduct reputational due diligence investigations during the normal course of practice.

In some instances, particularly when a buyer is only interested in the company or intellectual property they hold, and not the management team, sales staff or ownership, a basic reputational due diligence investigation may not be necessary to accomplish the desired goal.

When the integrity of management, key executives, directors and related parties does matter, ASG has customized due diligence solutions that can fit your time table and your budget; giving you more actionable information than other resources can.

Reviewing an Employment Background Check

As a potential employer who is conducting and reviewing an employment background check report, trying to screen for applicants with a history of activity that is not conducive to employment with your company, it is important to understand that the employee who provided you with the information used in the background check is the best source for clarification.

In one example, the employee might report one address to you and the search results come up with another. Could be they just never changed their address, could be they still like to use mom’s address for their mail but live with their boy/girl friend or could be they don’t live at either location. Recently we had such an instance and the client called back asking why we reported the address our search uncovered, which was a retail business and not a residence. What is important to remember is that we conduct the right searches, but we do not know what those results will mean to you or the applicant. In some cases, it may not matter where they live, in others, it may indicate that there is more research to be done. The key is your review. We, like any firm conducting employment background checks, do not automatically see a new piece of information and act upon it. We would not automatically research that additional address. Think of it in these terms, a background is like and onion, it can have many layers, but exploration of those deeper layers has to initiated by you the client. In most instances, you the client would ask the prospective employee about the new or conflicting information. If further exploration is merited, you would ask that we do it. The same holds true for a different spelling to a name, a maiden name, a date of birth, education or any other information used in the background check.

Reviewing an employment background check is a crucial step. If you have any questions about the findings in the report, it is vital that you bring them up before you make the hire decision.

Fake Degrees Big Problems

Fake Degrees, Real Money, Big Problems.

 

In May 2015, former employee turned whistleblower Yasir Jamshaid revleaed a number of startling facts about Pakistani tech firm Axact who, according to Jamshaid have produced approximately 200,000 fake degrees.  Some customers were aware that they were purchasing an instant degree while others were manipulated into enrollment in collegiate coursework that never materialized.  Many still were coaxed into accepting advanced degrees based solely on their own life experiences.

 

Fake degrees and the ‘diploma mill’ industry are nothing new.  Fraudulent credentials have been a problem for centuries, however the advent of the internet has caused the number of institutions offering such degrees to skyrocket.  Intuitions like Rochville University offered fake credentials and even assist with immigration requirements.  We at ASG actually had dealings with Rochville University (before the Axact fiasco was uncovered).  Our attempts to verify an applicant’s education went as smoothly as any other request, however our trained investigator noticed some discrepancies in the official documentation and started to dig into the situation.  Luckily our investigator was able to explain the situation to the client before any harm could be done.

 

Many other investigative agencies or online verification authorities may have missed the tell-tale signs of a diploma mill.  Having a trained investigator handle every case is our biggest differentiator.  ASG wants you to feel safe and secure in the knowledge obtained on your pre-employment screening.

 

Please feel free to contact us to discuss your specific needs. Your call is strictly confidential.

Call us today, toll free
888-677-9700

Screening Companies Ordered to Pay $13 Million Fine

A report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau details the infractions that lead to a $13 million dollar settlement against General Information Services and e-Background-checks.com.  The two screening companies were found in violation of the FCRA by providing unverified, inaccurate background information.  A report auditing system was not in place and as a result, the two companies marked misdemeanor convictions as felony convictions, as well as released dismissed or expunged records to potential employers thus causing harm to otherwise qualified applicants.  FCRA regulations state that dismissed information and most data older than 7 years are not eligible to be reported on a pre-employment screening.

At ASG we have a team of trained investigators who work diligently to verify all information reported on a background investigation.  Not only will applicants attempt to obfuscate the truth, some will go so far as to lie on their release forms in order to avoid criminal suspicion.

Please feel free to contact our office at (888) 677-9700 at any time to discuss how our screening services stack up against the competition.