KEYWORDS: employment verification, police records, public records
In this technological era, information is power. With personal space becoming less and less everyday due to the prominence of social media, one has to be able to realize the bane and boon of easily acquiring information. Of course, there is the constant anxiety that other people may actually take hold of your own information but if you are one step ahead of everyone else, that will be enough to keep you safe. One perfect way of keeping a distance and knowing whom to trust and not to trust is through a background check.
Information to Look For
There are several key pieces of information that people usually desire. These tiny bits of information are the best way that one can make informed decisions regarding the person involved. There are several occasions that may merit the acquisition of such information. You could be selling something to a person, having a property rented, loaning him money, or even giving employment. Here are some of the most sought after information:
- Criminal Records. This is easily the information people look for first. One does not want to eventually employ a person with a record and pattern of criminal behavior. However, due discretion has to be extended here. To some extent, you should be able to understand the context of the records. Look for important indicators like patters or the age when the person committed the crimes when you get a hold of his police records.
- Credit Records. This is vital when you’re wagering on a person to purchase something from you. This usually comes in a definitive pattern. Experts have said that people who are bad with money are bad with money constantly and you will see this emerging repeatedly in many of their decisions so you should be wary.
In the next section, the article will talk about how you can get these important pieces of information for a more judicious and well-thought of decision.
Can I do it Myself?
The more traditional route is to hire a private investigator and have him pull information from the person of interest. This, however, usually takes too long and too much money. With information just lingering out there in the internet, you may well be on your way for a background check that you can do on your own. Of course it wouldn’t be of the same caliber as the private investigator given that he’ll be better versed at the process but you can do a pretty decent job on your own. Here are some basic steps:
- Google is Your Friend. The most basic thing to do would be a simple search with the search string containing the name of the person. In doing this, you can quickly get hits about the more important things that he might have done. Newspaper sites that report criminal activity usually gets hits so you should take note of that. You can also use this to counter-check information you believe to be dubious—contests that person attested to have won, sports that he said he played, among others.
- Raid the Social Network. Searching names in Facebook can be difficult and it should be paired with the Google search. However, if you find the social media profile of the person, that would be a treasure trove of information—that is, if he kept his profile public. Look for key wall posts that might be a tad fishy or even look at pictures for more insight.
- Find the Basics. There are sites online that actually give basic and a free background check at least basic to the extent of phone numbers and addresses. Some sites access local information repositories if you input the person’s name. The more information you currently know, the better you can streamline your search.
- Public Records. Certain public records are also online and some sites specialize in uprooting them. Several pay sites given criminal record checks as well and this is the easy way around it. If you don’t want to spend money, maybe you can go out and visit the courthouse to request the records that you need given the reason for request.
- Checking References. The best way to get a credit check is to ask for as much information as you would need from the prospective tenant or business partner and then counter-check the references. You can also do this for employment verification. Of course the internet basically has the solution to any problem and there are pay sites that specialize tat this as well but you can do a nifty job on your own.
In the end, your concern and sense of certainty shouldn’t die down right after you gain more information about the person. You never know what can or could happen so it helps to be constantly vigilant—but not too paranoid—about your daily affairs. This may very well spell the difference between investments that go awry or even life and death.