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November 25th, 2014 | Sterling

The Instant Mistake In Background Screening

The Instant Mistake In Background Screening | SterlingBackcheck

America’s love affair with all things instant has found its way into background screening. The problem is that many of these instant background checks can provide a false sense of security. You see, not all background checks are created equal. An instant background check will not produce the same quality and consistency of results that county searches based on SSN traces will, for example.

Many instant database searches are simply a snapshot in time and their coverage of records vary widely. Some states are left out completely, others may only have records from several years ago, and some might lack pertinent information such as the disposition or final outcome. Though an instant background check is better than no background check at all, it’s important to understand the extent of the search performed. Instead of relying on the mixed bag of criminal records that some instant searches provide, employers should opt for a more thorough background screening option so that they can have confidence in their screening provider and the results they are receiving.

But it’s not just employers who are using background checks anymore. Background screening is becoming more popular for personal use – from checking out someone you met online to hiring a nanny for your children.

If you’ve ever given online dating a try, you’ve probably found yourself scrolling through your matches, browsing the profiles of the ones who catch your attention, and responding to messages from hopeful suitors. After several failed (and let’s face it, sometimes comical) online dating experiences, you spot him – that perfect combination of subtly handsome, but not so good looking that he’ll break your heart. He’s perfectly witty and charming and look at that, he’s even got a great job. But before you agree to go on a date with prince charming, consider that in 2011 alone the FBI investigated 5,600 complaints from online daters who were scammed. The total losses for those cases amounted to a staggering $50.4 million.

Then there are those who are not looking for love online, but looking for someone to care for those they love. Many parents use the internet to find the next Mary Poppins to care for their children. There are several websites that specialize in matching caregivers with families, but how do you trust a stranger with your kids? There have been numerous stories about nannies behaving badly, including one who was caught on a nanny cam abusing the children by shaking them, pulling their hair, and covering their mouths.

Background checks have become a must-have service for parents when they are choosing a childcare provider. And getting scammed or assaulted is the last thing any online dater wants and it is certainly not what they signed up for. So it’s no wonder that providers of these online services are adopting practices to promote member safety.

Several social networks and online matching services have jumped on the background screening bandwagon in an effort to gain an edge over the competition and put their members’ minds at ease. Unfortunately, some are using instant searches as their background check, leaving online daters, parents and other unsuspecting consumers susceptible to the risk of getting involved with a dangerous criminal. Learn more about how Instant Background Checks Could Equal Instant Trouble on the SterlingBackcheck blog.

The moral of the story? Sometimes Pricing Charming, Mary Poppins, and instant background checks really are too good to be true. Leave instant to your oatmeal, not your background checks.

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.