If you've ever wanted to find out more about an individual's background online it becomes quickly apparent that social networks and the top search engines can only go so far in providing detailed background information about an individual. Here are some useful tips and information to consider prior to purchasing a background check on an individual.
1. Corporate Background Checks - Consent is Required
It is in fact against the law, to make hiring or tenancy decisions about an individual, when a landlord or employer has purchased a background check report and uses that information to make negative decisions about the applicant without the applicants consent.
2. Consumer Background Checks - No Consent Necessary
While corporate background checks should almost always be done with the consent of an applicant, consumer background check reports are usually obtained without the consent of the person being searched.
3. Consumer Background Checks are legal
It is perfectly legal to perform a background check on an individual without their consent. Just be aware that you might be breaking the law if you make hiring and/or tenancy decisions without their approval. The legislation that governs these issues is the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
4. Not all Background Check Companies are Created Equally
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Do NOT pay extra for instant results; these reports are mostly compiled by computers, not people.
Make sure the company is accredited.
Review a sample report. Ensure you know what information will be returned
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When receiving a background report you should minimally expect to receive a full address history, assessed property values of owned property, date of birth and where they exist criminal records, aliases, liens/judgments. This is not a complete list but it is a sampling of the data available.