Have you ever wondered whether you can trust someone? President Reagan suggested that we should all trust each other, but that we should also verify. This is what background checks are for. I used my background checks to see what information exists about me, but you can also use it on someone else to verify they are who they say they are. There are some legal data protection restrictions involved in this, but there are quite a number of things that you can expect to find on such a check.
What Can I Find on my Background Checks?
First, you have to understand the concept of a background check. Basically, it is a check done online or through other automated methods to determine whether any criminal records exist at county, state, or federal level about you. A private investigator can often go a lot deeper into that, however, also looking up financial information, military service records, and employment records.
There are two things that will determine exactly what shows up during a check:
- The scope of the check itself.
- The reason for the check.
The second element is very important because background checks are regulated by the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act).
Let’s take a look at some of the checks that can be included:
- The criminal record check. This looks at arrest records and convictions. These are different very different and very different legal restrictions as well. A non-conviction, such as an arrest, warrant, or dismissed charge, can be reported on but only for up to seven years. A conviction, such as misdemeanors, felonies, and others, at all levels, can be reported on for life. They also include the sex offender register. Some of this information is readily available to anyone running a check, other pieces are a little bit harder to obtain.
- The credit, assets, and financial information checks. By looking into someone’s financial history, you can learn about their reliability, lifestyle, and judgment. For instance, if someone has been bankrupt or has lots of financial liens, it can tell you they are not good with money. However, you do have to include SSN verification for this, which means you need permission from the person you are looking into. You can also then check their credit score and receive a list of their assets, property, and business.
- Personal details checks. These are often missed during a background check but can be included on request. They include such things as marriage records, phone numbers, family and known associates details, and social media.
- Driving records checks. These records are held by the DMV and will show whether or not someone is a good driver. Usually, the individual will have to agree to have their records checked.
- State and federal licenses. This ensures someone is licensed to be a certain professional such as an attorney, private investigator, doctor, pilot, or allowed to own a gun.
- Military records, showing someone’s military history.
- Education confirmation, showing where someone went to school and whether they achieved any degrees.
- Past employment information, which is where most people include falsified information and therefore a reason to check.