Background checks are not for just finding out what a person did for work last year. There are many different types, and ways to determine if a person is who and what they say they are. This information can be retrieved for free and on your own from any of the websites you see on our site. Some of them provide completely free background checking services while others provide 7-10 days of free trial after which they start charging you money if you are satisfied with their services.
If you have ever been employed you have been through a background check of some type. You may not know it, but there are many types of background checks. The main factor is what the goal is in running a check on your previous history. For instance, if you want to lease a car, auto insurance companies will most certainly run background check on you before they will let you drive off the lot. Good thing for consumers is that companies like cheaplifeinsurance.org and TopCards.com don’t run background checks on you before issuing a policy or credit card for you.
Here are a few of the different types and why they would be used.
a) Criminal – Just like its title this type of background check looks for any type of criminal activity in your past. Unless your record has been sealed, petty criminal activity that occurred when you were under 18 is usually sealed after you become an adult, this information is actually public record and available for the asking. It can be accessed by checking with local and/or state governmental offices. A check with law enforcement agencies is also possible to see if a person has a past record. This background check looks for any arrests; time spent with the Department of Corrections (prisons), looks through court records for cases against the person, and will even go into the sex offender registries. It is possible to look into the online State databases for some of the information.
b) Personal – With the advent of social networking getting information on a person’s character is easier than ever before. You can tell volumes by looking at items they have posted on sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. A deeper investigation would include speaking with friends and neighbors of the person in question and possibly even their family and previous employers. When you start this type of investigation you will need to get the permission of the person in question, as this can become “intrusive.”
c) Police/Law Enforcement – If you have ever watched an episode of any police drama you have seen a re-enactment of a police background check in action. When the police are investigating a crime they conduct a combination of (a) and (b) above to try to determine a suspect pool to match to the other evidence within the case.
d) Credit – You may not think of it as such, but when you apply for a loan or credit card you are giving permission for a type of background check. This is a financial background check. Because this information is so personal, the person in question is required to sign a release form (the application) so that they can proceed. Once they have this information the lending institution begins a background investigation into not only your financial history, but your employment, where you have lived, and may check personal references. They may even hire a personal investigator to check into some of the information on your application depending on the amount of money you are requesting from them, such as in a large business loan.
e) International – Interpol conducts international background checks. The average person rarely has to deal with this type of situation, however with the world becoming smaller due to the internet knowing that this is a possible option if you are approached by someone from overseas about a business transaction is a good line of defense. This type of background check can be quite extensive and exhaustive, so you will probably want to hire someone who has experience in this type of work to do it for you, correctly.
f) FBI Database – The FBI has a national database that is accessible by visiting www.fbi.gov. You can find out about sex offenders, their most wanted list, fugitives, and other offenders. You can do a simply search or for a fee do a more extensive query using a person’s name and fingerprints.