We have become increasingly aware of the need to know about the people we do business with and invite into our lives. In the information age, identity theft, scams, and abuse are a constant worry, and these are intangible problems that have very tangible effects on our lives. First, let's go over some reasons for wanting to know more about someone, and then we'll talk about how to run a background check.
One reason you might want to do a background check on someone is because you are worried about your family. Maybe your older daughter has a new boyfriend that seems a little rough around the edges and you want to find out if he has a criminal record. Or maybe your young son has a man's name on his Facebook or MySpace friends list and you want to know who this person is. If you know how to do a background check you can better protect your family or simply put your mind at ease.
If you are a business owner who is hiring someone new, you might want to do a check into their history first. Nobody tells it all on a resume or application, especially if they have dark secrets to hide. Some people see this is an invasion of privacy, but inviting someone into your company is a huge leap of faith. You are trusting them with your reputation, your clients, and possibly even your money. Also, you want to know if you can depend on them or if they are going to take off after a month of expensive training.
Another reason you might want to know more about someone is if you are going to be purchasing something from them or giving them private information which could possibly be used to take advantage of you. This is especially important on the Internet, where it has become so easy for crooks to hide behind their computer. A solid background check can identify any red flags and let you know if your money or information is in good hands.
Those are just a few reasons for a check-there are many more out there. Whatever the reason, it is surely important to you, but do you even know how to run a background check? You could always hire a private investigator, or you could even do some Googling and Internet browsing to dig up dirt on your own. But a PI can be expensive and data mining is a skill that takes time to learn.
The best option is to use an Internet people search. It really does not get any easier. If you are an employer or a landlord, you are at a special advantage because you have their social security number. Using a SSN is the most accurate way to search because no two numbers are alike. Still, if all you have is a name, email, or phone number, you can still get good results. It may take a little more sifting but the resources are available, and paying for the service gives you access to the other tools you need to make the most of your information.
Sometimes it takes years to realize you are being taken advantage of or scammed only to find someone had a clear history of doing the same to other people, so be cautious. Know how to run a background check and sleep better at night. You can still lose, of course, but avoiding people known for ill intentions is a great way to minimize risks for you; your business; and, most importantly, your family.