Identity theft has adverse consequences to victims which typically include monetary losses to the person whose identity has been stolen and to the company that transacted with the person who stole the identity.
Identity theft cases have been widely reported these days. It is important for businesses and individuals to protect themselves to avoid becoming victims of identity theft. One way to do this is by conducting careful and thorough background checks when transacting with unknown persons. Traditional background checks are no longer enough to deal with the new breed of identity thieves today. There are online sites offering background checks to verify a person’s identity. These online sites collect public records and provide customers easy access to available information through their sites. Some online sites even have some access to credit reports and other information not readily available when running simple web searches. Conducting background checks for identity verification is an important practice that businesses and individuals alike must engage in.
Traditional background checks
Traditional background checks involving verification of information given by the person being screened are no longer enough. There are commercial agencies that charge clients a fee for conducting background checks. However, it is not practical for smaller companies to the engage services of these companies. An alternative for them is to use free background check services offered online. Companies offering background checks, both for free and for a fee, look at public records to confirm a person’s identity. These public records include criminal records, sex offender records, prison & inmate records, bankruptcy records, marriage records, divorce records, birth records, adoption records and death records. Those charging a fee for background checking services have access to more public records and have the resources to do the necessary legwork as needed. For major transactions involving huge amounts of money, paid background checks are preferable.
Companies that typically require background checks are those hiring new personnel. It is common for employers recruiting employees to require background checks. Background checks include checking out employment references, character references, investigating gaps in employment history, identity and address verification. Some employers also request credit history and bankruptcy information and criminal history report. Other businesses that must always conduct background checks are credit card and other financing companies. Aside from verifying personal information as proof of identity, credit card companies also must also check out credit history information.
Because of the increasing number of stolen identity cases being reported these days, background checks must always be conducted by potential victims (employers and financing companies) to verify the identity of the persons with whom they transact.