Common Background Check Scams: How to Protect Yourself

Background checks play a crucial role in today’s world, whether they’re conducted for employment, housing, or personal relationships. Unfortunately, the major significance of background checks has also made it a huge target for scams and fraud based activities. Let’s talk about common background check scams, how they work, and what you can do to protect yourself.

The Online Identity Theft Scam

In the online identity theft scam, fraudsters impersonate legitimate background check services to trick individuals into divulging sensitive personal information. These scams can lead to identity theft, financial loss, and more. Here’s how they typically work:

  1. Impersonation: Scammers set up convincing websites or send emails appearing to be from reputable background check companies, often using logos and language that mimic the real thing.
  2. Phishing: They request sensitive information such as Social Security numbers, banking details, or other personal data under the guise of conducting a background check.
  3. Identity Theft: Once they have your information, they can use it to commit identity theft, open fraudulent accounts, or steal your money.

Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to This Background Check Scam:

  • Verify the source: Always confirm the legitimacy of the background check service by independently searching for their official website or contact information.
  • Never share sensitive data: Be cautious about sharing personal information online, especially when not initiated by you.
  • Use strong, unique passwords: Protect your accounts with strong passwords, and consider using a password manager to keep track of them.
One Common Background Check scam is online identity theft.

The Fake Background Check Service Scam

In this scam, fraudsters pose as a background check service provider, offering their services at a lower cost to lure unsuspecting individuals. Once paid, they disappear without delivering any results or services. Here’s how it works:

  1. Advertising: Scammers may advertise their services on various online platforms, claiming to provide background checks at a fraction of the cost of legitimate services.
  2. Payment Request: After enticing their victims with promises of affordable background checks, they request payment through various methods, such as credit cards, gift cards, or cryptocurrency.
  3. No Results Delivered: Once the payment is made, the scammers disappear without providing any background check results.

Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to This Background Check Scam

  • Research: Always research the background check service before making any payments. Legitimate providers will have a track record and verifiable contact information.
  • Payment Caution: Be skeptical of anyone requesting payment through unconventional methods like gift cards or cryptocurrency. Stick to established payment methods when dealing with service providers.
Another Common Background Check Scam is Fake Background Check Service Scams

The Phony Rental Application Scam

This scam targets individuals searching for rental properties. Fraudsters impersonate landlords or property managers and claim to require a background check for the rental application. However, they are not genuine property owners or managers, and they use this scam to steal application fees and personal information. Here’s how it typically works:

  1. Impersonation: Scammers pose as landlords or property managers advertising rental properties online or in classified ads.
  2. Background Check Fee: They insist on a background check fee as part of the rental application process.
  3. Vanishing Act: Once the fee is paid, the scammer disappears, and the victim never hears from them again.

Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to This Background Check Scam

  • Verify Ownership: Ensure the person offering the rental property is the legitimate owner or manager by checking official property records or contacting the property management company.
  • Confirm Background Check Requirements: Confirm whether a background check is genuinely required for the rental application. Most legitimate landlords will conduct background checks themselves.
Phony Rental Application Scams are a very common background scam

The Romance Scam

The romance scam is a deceitful ploy used by fraudsters to develop romantic relationships with their targets. Perhaps one of the most notable cases of a romance scam is Israeli native Shimon Hayut / Simon Leviev, who managed to con an estimated $10 million from his victims. While this is an extreme example, let’s take a look at what a romance scam commonly looks like:

  1. Online Relationship: Scammers create fake online profiles on dating websites or social media platforms to connect with potential victims.
  2. Building Trust: They work to establish trust and a romantic connection over time.
  3. Background Check Request: They claim to need financial assistance to cover the cost of a background check or other fabricated expenses.
  4. Financial Exploitation: Victims may send money or provide personal information, only to find out that the romance was a ruse, and they’ve been financially exploited.

Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to This Background Check Scam

  • Be Skeptical: Approach online relationships with caution and skepticism, especially if the other person quickly asks for money or personal information.
  • Never Send Money: Never send money or share sensitive personal information with someone you’ve met online unless you are absolutely certain of their trustworthiness.
  • Report Suspicious Activity: If you suspect you are the victim of a romance scam, report it to the dating platform or social media site and cease contact with the scammer.
Romance scams are one of the leading types of fraud on the internet

The Fake Employment Opportunity Scam

In this scam, fraudsters pose as employers or hiring managers, promising lucrative job opportunities in exchange for personal information or background check fees. Victims may end up providing sensitive data without any actual job prospects. What is looks like:

  1. Job Offers: Scammers post fake job listings or reach out to job seekers, claiming to have immediate employment opportunities.
  2. Background Check Fee: They require candidates to pay for a background check or provide sensitive personal information as part of the hiring process.
  3. No Real Jobs: After payment is made or information is shared, the victims discover that there are no actual job openings.

Tips to Avoid Falling Victim to This Background Check Scam

  • Research the Employer: Verify the legitimacy of the employer by checking their website, contact information, and online reviews.
  • Realistic Expectations: Be cautious of job offers that seem too good to be true, and remember that legitimate employers typically conduct their own background checks.
  • Never Share Sensitive Information: Avoid sharing personal information or making payments for background checks unless you are sure the job opportunity is legitimate.
The Last Important Background Check Scam we Want to Mention is The Fake Employment Opportunity Scam

Common background check scams prey on individuals’ desires for security, employment, housing, and even romance. By staying informed and vigilant, you can safeguard your personal and financial security. Verify the legitimacy of the source, exercise caution when sharing personal information or making payments, and trust your instincts. Remember that awareness is your best defense against these deceitful schemes.

At ASG Investigations, we are dedicated to ensuring your safety and security through thorough and legitimate background checks. Our team of experts is committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and confidentiality. Contact us today to learn more about our professional background check services and how we can assist you in making informed decisions in various aspects of your life.

Don’t let scams and fraudsters compromise your peace of mind. Trust ASG Investigations to provide you with the accurate and reliable background check services you deserve. Your safety is our priority.


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